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“ Stand on the Old Ways and then make Progression .” — Bacon. 

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by 


In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States for the 
Southern District of New York. 



Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York, 








In presenting the following pages to the attention of the Frater- 
nity, we are bnt repeating a thrice-told tale, and should, perhaps, 
apologize for attempting a topic which has already been so exhaust- 
ively treated by brethren learned in the law. Our title will, how- 
ever, indicate our design, which is to bring the subject within the 
grasp of the Fraternity in general, and, by our method of treatment, 
to make it comprehensible to those who have heretofore deemed 
it too abstruse for the common intellect, and have therefore been 
satisfied to accept the decisions of any whom they might deem 
qualified to instruct them. 

The lamentable want of knowledge, in regard to the simplest 
principles of Masonic law, which prevails even among otherwise 
intelligent brethren, can only be fully known to those who, like 
the writer, have held official station in the Craft, and been called 
upon to answer the multitudinous questions that arise in the prac- 
tice of lodges. A dozen different interrogatories are frequently 
propounded in relation to the same subject, all of which might be 
readily answered, were the questioners in possession of the funda- 
mental principle on which it is based. To supply this principle, 
and to simplify its application, has been the object in view in our 
work; and to it we have brought the experience of a long and 
active participation in every branch of our institution, with an 
extended intercourse with Craftsmen from every portion of our own 
country and Europe. 

Our plan has been, as will be found upon examination of the 
work, to reduce the authorities depended upon to the smallest com- 
pass, and to make a careful distinction between the general laws 
of the society and the local regulations of Grand Lodges, which 



we have found, in our practice, to be the principal source of diffi- 
culty among brethren unused to the application of the law to the 
questions presenting themselves in their lodges. Commencing 
thus at the foundation, we have followed the profane from his peti- 
tion onward to his reception in a lodge, and explained, in the fewest 
words possible, the various rules and requirements that attend his 
progress. The formation of a lodge, and the powers thereof, as 
well as the prerogatives of its officers and members, are considered. 
The laws applicable to trials and appeals have received special 
consideration; and thus the inquirer is led forward to the estab- 
lishment of Grand Lodges, and the powers and prerogatives of 
the Grand Officers. 

We are by no means vain enough to suppose that we have 
exhausted the questions at issue, or that nothing more is to # be 
said on the subject; but we do believe that the great number of 
brethren unacquainted with the jurisprudence of the Fraternity 
will find here useful hints to guide their progress in the study of 
the laws which govern our institution, and to point out the paths 
which lead to a correct understanding of the foundations upon 
which our system of jurisprudence is based. 

In the Appendix will be found the various forms required in the 
business of lodges; among which, we desire to call especial atten- 
tion to those regarding trials and appeals, which have been adopted 
by the Grand Lodge of New York, and which we deem the best 
that have yet been presented to the notice of the brethren. Pre- 
pared originally by our friend and brother, the M. W. John L. 
Lewis, they have proved in practice to be all that can be required 
in the administration of Masonic justice. 

And, in conclusion, we would say, that if our labors shall prove 
to be of benefit to our brethren, and aid, even in a feeble degree, 
in making the subject treated more comprehensible to them, we 
shall feel amply compensated for the labor expended in its 






fato.—f anhnarlts. 

The Masonic Institution is complete in itself. 
Appointed, as we believe, an agent to assist in the 
development of the purposes of our creation and 
earthly existence, it moves silently forward in its 
mission, without resort to exterior agencies, and 
labors at its appointed task by methods of its own, 
and from designs drawn on its tracing-boards by no 
profane hand. Its history, its philosophy, its ethics, 
and its symbolism, each bear the signet of the Craft ; 
each is a study in itself, that no single mind, however 
industrious its possessor, can be said to have yet 
completely mastered. So with its laws : they are a 
portion of the system, stamped with its peculiar im 
press, and only to be rightly comprehended when 
viewed in the light that belongs to the institution. 
Without a knowledge of the society — its rituals and 



customs — the most learned judge, the most subtle 
advocate, would be at a loss to declare the law on a 
given point, or even to rightly interpret its written 
code. It should not, therefore, be a matter of surprise 
that, to the great majority of the brethren, this sub- 
ject presents almost insuperable difficulties, and that 
it is so rare to find one who has devoted the time and 
investigation necessary to a proper comprehension 
of it ; they learn, it is true, the general routine of 
lodge business with sufficient promptitude, but beyond 
that, they rarely go ; suffering themselves — as in the 
ordinary affairs of life — to be guided by the few, and 
accepting (perhaps in too many instances) the deci- 
sions of any one in whom they may place confidence. 
We can, however, imagine no reason why the lay 
brethren — to say nothing of Masters and other offi- 
cers of lodges — should not understand this, as well 
as other matters of Masonic peculiarity ; and it is to 
encourage and facilitate such inquiry that we have 
undertaken the present work, devoted, as will be 
found upon examination, rather to pointing out what 
the law really is, than to inventing apologies for or 
arguments against its provisions. The Masonic code, 
though not so plain that a wayfaring man may not 
err therein, is nevertheless not so intricate, nor is its 
study so dry and forbidding as many suppose. Its 
foundation rests upon three principles of action, 



which are well and concisely stated in the following 
extract from the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of 
the State of New York : 

“ The action of Freemasons, in their Grand or Subordinate 
Lodges, or in their individual character, is regulated and 
controlled — 

“1. By Ancient Landmarks; or, the Unwritten Law of 

“2. By Written Constitutions and General Regulations; 

“ 3. By Usages, Customs, Rules, Edicts, and Resolu- 
tions, having the force of General Regulations. 

“ The Ancient Landmarks are those principles of Masonic 
government and polity which are the only part of Masonic 
law, or rule of government, that may never be altered or 
disturbed ; and such of them as are lawful to be written, are 
usually, but not wholly, engrafted in the written Constitu- 
tions and General Regulations. 

“ Constitutions are those written compacts or laws adopted 
by Freemasons for the government of a Grand Lodge and its 
Subordinate Lodges, and their members; including General 
Regulations, constitutionally adopted, that are intended to be 
permanent in their character. 

“General Regulations, Usages and Customs, Rules, Edicts 
and Resolutions, are those Masonic rules of action adopted 
by competent authority for local or temporary purposes, 
admitting of change at convenience, and not embraced in 
Ancient Landmarks or Constitutions, and are frequently 



termed By-Laws. But when they so operate as to alter, 
modify, or otherwise affect the Constitutions, as defined in 
the preceding section, they are also styled Constitutions.” 

We remark, in passing, that the Landmarks are not 
all comprised in the unwritten law : on the contrary", 
some of the most important are found in the An- 
cient Charges and [Regulations. Of the three princi- 
ples above set forth, however, the Landmarks are 
undoubtedly the most important, being, as it were, 
the starting-point, and, from their very nature, influ- 
encing the formation and controlling the validity of 
the others. And yet they are the most difficult to be 
understood and defined. The term “ Landmark ” is 
used in its scriptural sense where it is employed to 
designate a mark or boundary set up in ancient days 
between one man’s possessions and those of his 
neighbor, beyond which neither party could lawfully 
go ; and, when once established, these boundaries or 
landmarks were never to be removed. This custom 
has come down to us unimpaired, it being a law in 
most, if not all the States, that a tree, stone, or other 
landmark, between the possessions of neighbors, can- 
not be cut down or removed. It is in this sense that 
we apply the word in Masonic law and usage, as de- 
signating a fundamental principle of Masonry, which 
no man or body of men can change or remove — as 
one on which we rely to preserve the institution from 



the changes of the outer world, and to hand it down 
to the latest posterity, as it was in the beginning, and 
must continue to be to the end of time. But, para- 
doxical as it may appear, that there should be any 
uncertainty about that which is, in its nature, fixed 
and unchangeable, it is nevertheless quite true that 
scarcely any two Masonic authorities of eminence 
agree as to what are, and what are not, Landmarks. 
We assume those principles of action to be landmarks 
which have existed from time immemorial, whether 
in the written or unwritten law ; which are identified 
with the form and essence of the society ; which, the 
great majority agree, cannot be changed, and which 
every Mason is bound to maintain intact, under the 
most solemn and inviolable sanctions. In accordance 
with these views, we think that the following will be 
admitted to have always been in force ; to involve 
essential Masonic principles; to be unchangeable, 
unless by altering the form and essence of the insti- 
tution, and therefore to be landmarks, in the proper 
sense of the term. 


1. A belief in the existence of a Supreme Being, 
and in the immortality of the soul. 

2. That the moral law, which inculcates, among 



other things, charity and probity, industry and sobri- 
ety, is the rule and guide of every Mason. 

3. Respect for, and obedience to, the civil law of 
the country, and the Masonic regulations of the juris- 
diction where a Mason may reside. 

4. That new-made Masons must be free-born, of 
lawful age, and hale and sound at the time of making. 

5. The modes of recognition, and, generally, the 
rites and ceremonies of the three degrees of Ancient 
Craft Masonry. 

6. That no appeal can be taken to the Lodge, from 
the decision of the Master, or the Warden occupying 
the Chair in his absence. 

7. That no one can be the Master of a Warranted 
Lodge till he has been installed and served one year 
as Warden. 

8. That when a man becomes a Mason, he not 
only acquires membership in the particular lodge 
that admits him, but, in a general sense, he becomes 
one of the whole Masonic family ; and hence he has 
a right to visit, masonically, every regular lodge, 
except when such visit is likely to disturb the har- 
mony or interrupt the working of the lodge he pro- 
poses to visit. 

9. The prerogative of the Grand Master to preside 
over every assembly of the Craft, within his juris- 
diction, to mako Masons at sight in a regular lodge, 


and to grant Dispensations for the formation of 
new lodges. 

10. That no one can be made a Mason, save in a 
regular lodge, duly convened, after petition, and ac- 
ceptance by unanimous ballot, except when made at 
sight by the Grand Master. 

11. That the ballot for candidates is strictly and 
inviolably secret. 

12. That a lodge cannot try its Master. 

13. That every Mason is amenable to the laws and 
regulations of the jurisdiction in which he resides, 
even though he be a member of a particular lodge in 
some other jurisdiction. 

14. The right of the Craft at large to be repre- 
sented in Grand Lodge, and to instruct their repre- 

15. The general aim and form of the society, as 
handed down to us by the fathers, to be by us pre- 
served inviolate, and transmitted to our successors 

This list might be somewhat extended by adding 
to it, as is frequently done, regulations deduced from 
these principles ; but we prefer to avoid that error, 
and the discussions which inevitably follow a depart- 
ure from established law: for self-interest, or the 
predominance of a feeling entirely extraneous to 



Masonry, will sometimes lead men to close their 
eyes to the most indubitable proposition. Take, for 
instance, the fourth landmark, above cited. Its exist- 
ence, as a fundamental principle of Masonic law, 
from the very earliest times of which we have any 
record, is beyond dispute : its language is too plain 
to admit of any equivocation ; and it is just as much 
an integral and immovable part of the Masonic sys- 
tem, as the one requiring a belief in the existence of 
a Supreme Being ; and we can admit an argument 
as to the right to abrogate one, with the same pro- 
priety as the other. Nevertheless, the Grand Lodge 
of England, a few years since, solemnly amended its 
Constitution by striking out “ free-born ,” and putting 
in its place “fr ee-man;” thus changing an essential 
feature of the law, or, in plain terms, removing an 
indisputable landmark. "We can easily perceive that 
it would take but a few such alterations of the land- 
marks to destroy the identity of the society, and 
sever the links that bind it to the long past. Admit 
the power to modify these principles at the pleasure 
of Grand Lodges, and you at once overturn the whole 
structure ; sever the present from the past as com- 
pletely as if the past had never been ; bring to nought 
the boasted antiquity of the Fraternity, and make its 
most solemn covenants but empty words. 

There is a double iniquity in this proceeding of the 



English. Graiid Lodge, from the fact that, at its estab- 
lishment, it was solemnly agreed that no regulation 
should be adopted in derogation of the Ancieut Land- 
marks, and that agreement is just as binding as a 
landmark ; for it was entered into as a condition of 
the resignation of the general sovereignty into the 
keeping of the Grand Lodge, which, therefore, not 
only sets aside a landmark, but violates an express 
stipulation that it would not do so. 

We could easily assign the reason for this proceed- 
ing, were any useful purpose to be subserved by so 
doing. It is sufficient for us to show, however, that 
the English Craft are themselves at a loss to justify 
their own acts, as will be seen by the following ex- 
tract from a late English work :* 

“The strict inviolability of a Landmark is somewhat prob- 
lematical. There are certain obsolete particulars in Masonry 
which were formerly esteemed to be Landmarks, but have 
undergone alterations in a greater or lesser degree. It fol- 
lows, therefore, that if the old Landmarks cannot, by any 
possibility, be removed, then we incur the unavoidable con- 
clusion that these never had a claim to any such distinction. 
In all existing constitutions, however, there is a prohibitory 
clause, which pronounces the Landmarks, like the laws of the 

* The Freemason’s Treasury. Fifty-two short lectures on the 
theory and practice of symbolical Masonry, by the Rev. George 
Oliver, D. D. London, 1863. 



Medes and Persians, to be unchangeable ; but we shall find 
that, in practice, it has been occasionally violated, and there- 
fore inapplicable to all the contingencies that may arise in 

“ To persist, then, in asserting that the Landmark cannot 
be altered, with an array of positive facts against the hy- 
pothesis, is indefensible and absurd, because it places the 
society in a false position. It is well known, that whenever 
it has been found expedient to expunge a Landmark, the 
means of accomplishment were never wanting. The letter 
of the law is stern, but the spirit is feeble. Practice is more 
than a match for it: it beats it on its own ground.” 

This is undoubtedly a fair exposition of English 
“ practice,” and goes to show the method that must 
have governed the Grand Lodge in the case before 
cited. They resolved — 1, The regulation that a can- 
didate must be free-born is obsolete ; 2, It is not a 
landmark; and, 3, That it be rescinded. By this 
process of reasoning, it would be easy to prove the 
non-existence of any Landmark ; and its natural con- 
sequence would be to gradually remove, not only the 
landmarks, but the society itself. We regret that so 
able an exponent of the Masonic ideal as Dr. Oliver 
should be willing to countenance such proceedings ; 
we wonder that, instead of so doing, he had not 
raised his voice in indignant remonstrance ; and we 
sincerely trust that the day may never come when an 
American Mason will be found willing to countenance 



so manifest an innovation, however exalted may be 
the source from which it emanates ; that all and sin- 
gular will maintain the doctrine that any such action 
or attempted action, on the part of a Grand Lodge 
or other assembly of Masons, would be absolutely 
void and of no effect. 

To resume : All Constitutions, General Regulations 
and Usages are based upon the Landmarks, and must 
be in harmony with them ; for otherwise they would 
have no binding force or effect. But every Grand 
Lodge has an inherent right to make local regulations ; 
to abolish old ones, and to make new ones at pleasure ; 
but such regulations, it will be understood, will only 
be valid within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge 
promulgating them. It is, however, a very common 
mistake among the brethren to confound such local 
regulations with the general laws of the fraternity, 
from which source emanate many of the questions 
submitted for the decision of Grand Masters and 
Grand Lodges. The inquiring brother should, there- 
fore, be acquainted with, and study for himself, the 
basis of the Masonic law, and the superstructure of 
Masonic jurisprudence that has been erected upon it. 

Masonic jurists claim the authority of law for the 
Gothic or York Constitutions of A. d. 926 ; for various 
regulations adopted at subsequent periods, and for 
the Charges and Regulations compiled by Doctor 



Anderson in 1721, and published under sanction of 
the Grand Lodge of England in 1723. These Con- 
stitutions are claimed to have embodied all the reg- 
ulations of the Craft up to that time, not only in 
England, but of “ Lodges beyond sea and as they 
certainly contain all the law of a general nature that 
we have, we see no good reason for multiplying au- 
thorities, and our references will be made to them. 
We are the more inclined to this opinion, from the 
fact that they were collated immediately after the 
revival in 1717, by one to whom every facility for 
making them correct was extended, and before the 
increase of the fraternity, under the new regime, led 
to the innovations which appear in subsequent edi- 
tions. It should be observed, too, that during the 
schism in England, Lawrence Dermott, who was 
Deputy Grand Master of the seceding, or Athol 
Grand Lodge, published a “ Book of Constitutions,” 
similar in its general features to the true version, but 
in which he took occasion to make alterations in 
some essential points, probably to suit the exigencies 
of his irregular Grand Lodge. Many of the warrants 
for the establishment of lodges in this country issued 
from the Dermott or Athol Grand Lodge, which is 
doubtless the reason why so much of the spurious 
Constitutions is found in the jurisprudence of the 
several States. In New York, where most of these 



warrants were ultimately located, the spurious Charges 
of Dermott are prefixed to and made a part of the 
Book of Constitutions, and more or less of their spirit 
is found in its otherwise admirable code of law. 

As a matter of research, the Regulations, previous 
to 1721, may be consulted ; but, for all practical pur- 
poses, the Charges and Thirty-nine Articles of Doctor 
Anderson are sufficient. For this reason, and to 
avoid confusing the mind of the student, we insert 
these only. 

% Charges a $mntasmt. 

Extracted from the Ancient Records of Lodges beyond Sea, 
and of those in England , Scotland and Ireland, for the 
use of the Lodges in London. To be read at the making 
of New Brethren, or when the Master shall order it. 


I. — Op God and Religion; II. — Of the Civil Magistrate, Supreme 
and Subordinate; EH. — Of Lodges; IV. — Of Masteks, Ward- 
ens, Fellows, and Apprentices; Y. — Of the Management of 
the Craft in working; VL — Of Behavior, viz: 1. In the Lodge 
while Constituted. 2. After the Lodge is over, and the Breth- 
ren not gone. 3. When Brethren meet without Strangers, 
but not in a Lodge. 4. In presence of Strangers not Masons. 
5. At Home and in the Neighborhood. 6. Towards a strange 


A Mason is obliged, by his tenure, to obey the moral law; 

and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a 



stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in 
ancient times Masons were charged in every country to be 
of the Religion of that country or nation, whatever it was, 
it is now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that 
Religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opin- 
ions to themselves; that is, to be good men and true , or men 
of honor and honesty, by whatever denominations or persua- 
sions they may be distinguished ; whereby Masonry becomes 
the Center of Union , and the means of conciliating true 
Friendship among persons that must have remained at a 
perpetual distance. 


A Mason is a peaceable subject to the civil powers wher- 
ever he resides or works, and is never to be concerned in 
plots and conspiracies against the peace and welfare of the 
nation, nor to behave himself undutifully to inferior magis- 
trates; for as Masonry hath been always injured by war, 
bloodshed, and confusion, so ancient kings and princes have 
been much disposed to encourage the Craftsmen, because of 
their peaceableness and loyalty, whereby they practically 
answered the cavils of their adversaries, and promoted the 
honor of the Fraternity, who ever flourished in times of peace. 
So that if a Brother should be a rebel against the State, he 
is not to be countenanced in his rebellion, however he may be 
pitied as an unhappy man; and, if convicted of no other 
crime, though the loyal brotherhood must and ought to disown 
his rebellion, and give no umbrage or ground of political jeal- 
ousy to the government for the time being, they cannot expel 
him from the lodge, and his relation to it remains indefeasible. 




A Lodge is a place where Masons assemble and work: 
Hence that Assembly, or duly organized Society of Masons, 
is called a Lodge , and every Brother ought to belong to one, 
and to be subject to its by-laws and the General Regulations. 
It is either particular or general, and will be best understood 
by attending it, and by the Regulations of the General or 
Grand Lodge hereunto annexed. In ancient times, no Mas- 
ter or Fellow could be absent from it, especially.when warned 
to appear at it, without incurring a severe censure, until it 
appeared to the Master and Wardens that pure necessity 
hindered him. 

The persons admitted members of a lodge must be good 
and true men, free-born, and of mature and discreet age; no 
bondmen, no women, no immoral or scandalous men, but of * 
good report. 


All preferment among Masons is grounded upon real worth 
and personal merit only; that so the lords may be well served, 
the brethren not put to shame, nor the Royal Craft despised: 
Therefore no Master or Warden is chosen by seniority, but 
for his merit. It is impossible to describe these things in 
writing, and every Brother must attend in his place, and learn 
them in a way peculiar to this Fraternity: Only candidates 
may know that no Master should take an Apprentice, unless 
he has sufficient employment for him, and unless he be a per- 
fect youth, having no maim or defect in his body, that may 
render him incapable of learning the art of serving his mas- 
ter’s Lord, and of being made a Brother , and then a Fellow 



Craft in due time, even after he has served such a term of 
years as the custom of the country directs ; and that he should 
be descended of honest parents; that so, when otherwise qual- 
ified, he may arrive to the honor of being the Warden, and 
then the Master of the Lodge, the Grand Warden , and at 
length the Grand Master of all the Lodges, according to 
his merit. 

No Brother can be a Warden until he has passed the part 
of a Fellow Craft; nor a Master until he has acted as a 
Warden, nor Grand Warden until he has been Master of a 
Lodge, nor Grand Master, unless he has been a Fellow Craft 
before his election, who is also to be nobly born, or a gentle- 
man of the best fashion, or some eminent scholar, or some 
curious architect or other artist, descended of honest parents, 
and who is of singular great merit in the opinion of the 
lodges. And for the better, and easier, and more honorable 
discharge of his office, the Grand Master has a power to 
choose his own Deputy Grand Master, who must be then, or 
must have been formerly, the Master of a particular lodge, 
and has the privilege of acting whatever the Grand Master, 
his Principal, should act, unless the said Principal be present, 
or interpose his authority by a letter. 

These rulers and governors — supreme and subordinate — 
of the ancient Lodge, are to be obeyed in their respective 
stations by all the Brethren, according to the old Charges and 
Regulations, with all humility, reverence, love and alacrity. 


All Masons shall work honestly on working-days, that they 
may live creditably on holy-days; and the time appointed 



by the law of the land, or confirmed by custom, shall be 

The most expert of the Fellow Craftsmen shall be chosen 
or appointed the Master or Overseer of the Lord’s work; 
who is to be called Master by those that work under him. 
The Craftsmen are to avoid all ill language, and to call each 
other by no disobliging name, but Brother or Fellow, and to 
behave themselves courteously within and without the lodge. 

The Master knowing himself to be able of cunning, shall 
undertake the Lord’s work as reasonably as possible, and 
truly dispend his goods as if they were his own ; nor to 
give more wages to any Brother or Apprentice than he 
really may deserve. 

Both the Master and the Masons receiving their wages 
justly, shall be faithful to the Lord, and honestly finish their 
work, whether task or journey; nor put the work to task 
that hath been accustomed to journey. 

None shall discover envy at the prosperity of a Brother, 
nor supplant him, or put him out of his work, if he be capable 
to finish the same; for no man can finish another’s work so 
much to the Lord's profit, unless he be thoroughly acquainted 
with the designs and drafts of him that began it. 

When a Fellow-Craftsman is chosen Warden of the work 
under the Master, he shall be true both to Master and Fel- 
lows, shall carefully oversee the work in the Master's absence 
to the Lord’s profit; and his Brethren shall obey him. 

All Masons employed shall meekly receive their wages, 
without murmuring or mutiny, and not desert the Master till 
the work is finished. 




A younger Brother shall be instructed in working, to 
prevent spoiling the materials for want of judgment, and for 
increasing and continuing of Brotherly Love. 

All the tools used in working shall be approved by the 
Grand Lodge. 

No laborer shall be employed in the proper work of Mason- 
ry; nor shall Free Masom work with those that are not free, 
without an urgent necessity; nor shall they teach laborers and 
unaccepted Masons as they should teach a Brother or Fellow. 


1 . — In the Lodge while constitided. 

You are not to hold private committees or separate con- 
versation, without leave from the Master, nor to talk of any 
thing impertinent or unseemly, nor interrupt the Master or 
Wardens, or any Brother speaking to the Master: Nor 
behave yourself ludicrously or jestingly while the Lodge is 
engaged in what is serious and solemn; nor use any unbe- 
coming language upon any pretence whatsoever; but to pay 
due reverence to your Master, Wardens and Fellows, and 
put them to worship. 

If any complaint be brought, the Brother found guilty 
shall stand to the award and determination of the Lodge, 
who are the proper and competent judges of all such contro- 
versies, (unless you carry it by appeal to the Grand Lodge,) 
and to whom they ought to be referred, unless a Lord’s work 
be hindered the mean while, in which case a particular refer- 
ence may be made; but you must never go to law about 
what concerneth Masonry, without an absolute necessity, 
apparent to the Lodge. 

2 . — Behavior after the Lodge is over, and the Brethren not gone. 

You may enjoy yourselves with innocent mirth, treating 
one another according to ability, but avoiding all excess, or 
forcing any Brother to eat or drink beyond his inclination, 
or hindering him from going when his occasions call him, or 
doing or saying any thing offensive, or that may forbid an 
easy and free conversation; for that would blast our har- 
mony, and defeat our laudable purposes. Therefore no private 
piques or quarrels must be brought within the door of the 
Lodge, far less any quarrels about religion, or nations, or 
State policy, we being only, as Masons, of the Catholic reli- 
gion above mentioned; we are also of all nations, tongues, 
kindreds and languages, and are resolved against all 'politics , 
as what never yet conduced to the welfare of the Lodge, nor 
ever will. This Charge has been always strictly enjoined and 
observed; but especially ever since the Reformation in Bri- 
tain, or the dissent and secession of these nations from the 
communion of Rome. 

3 . — Behavior when Brethren meet without Strangers, hut not in a 
Lodge formed. 

You are to salute one another in a courteous manner, as 
you will be instructed, calling each other Brother, freely 
giving mutual instruction as shall be thought expedient, 
without being overseen or overheard, and without encroach- 
ing upon each other, or derogating from that respect which 
is due to any Brother, were he not a Mason: for though all 
Masons are as Brethren upon the same Level, yet Masonry 
takes no honor from a man that he had before; nay, rather 
it adds to his honor, especially if he has deserved well of the 



Brotherhood, who must give honor to whom it is due, and 
avoid ill manners. 

4 . — Behavior in Presence of Strangers not Masons. 

You shall be cautious in your words and carriage, that the 
most penetrating stranger shall not be able to discover oi 
find out what is not proper to be intimated; and sometimes 
you shall divert a discourse, and manage it prudently for the 
honor of the Worshipful Fraternity. 

5 . — Behavior at Home and in your Neighborhood. 

You are to act as becomes a moral and wise man, partic- 
ularly not to let your family, friends and neighbors know the 
concerns of the Lodge, etc., but wisely to consult your own 
honor, and that of the Ancient Brotherhood, for reasons not 
to be mentioned here. You must also consult your health, 
by not continuing together too late, or too long from home, 
after lodge hours are past; and by avoiding of gluttony or 
drunkenness, that your families be not neglected or injured, 
nor you disabled from working. 

6 . — Behavior towards a Strange Brother. 

You are cautiously to examine him, in such a method as 
prudence shall direct you, that you may not be imposed upon 
by an ignorant false pretender, whom you are to reject with 
contempt and derision, and bew T are of giving him any hints 
of knowledge. 

But if you discover him to be a true and genuine Brother, 
you are to respect him accordingly; and if he is in want, you 
must relieve him, if you can, or else direct him how he may 
be relieved: You must employ him some days, or else reconi- 



mend him to be employed. But you are not charged to do 
beyond your ability, only to prefer a poor Brother, that is a 
good man and true, before any other poor people in the same 

Finally , All these Charges you are to observe, and also 
those that shall be communicated to you in another way; 
cultivating Brotherly Love, the foundation and cape-stone, 
the cement and glory of this ancient Fraternity ; avoiding all 
wrangling and quarreling, all slander and backbiting, nor 
permitting others to slander any honest Brother, but defend- 
ing his character, and doing him all good offices, as far as is 
consistent with your honor and safety, and no farther. And 
if any of them do you injury, you must apply to your own or 
his Lodge, and from thence you may appeal to the Grand 
Lodge at the quarterly communication, and from thence to 
the Annual Grand Lodge, as has been the ancient laudable 
conduct of our forefathers in every nation; never taking a 
legal course, but when the case cannot be otherwise decided, 
and patiently listening to the honest and friendly advice of 
Master and Fellows, when they would prevent your going to 
law with strangers, or would excite you to put a speedy 
period to all lawsuits, that so you may mind the affair of 
Masonry with the more alacrity and success; but with respect 
to Brothers or Fellows at law, the Master and Brethren 
should kindly offer their mediation, which ought to be thank- 
fully submitted to by the contending Brethren; and if that 
submission is impracticable, they must, however, carry on 
their process, or lawsuit, without wrath and rancor, (not in 



the common way,) saying or doing nothing which may hinder 
Brotherly Love, and good offices to be renewed and contin- 
ued; that all may see the benign influence of Masonry, as all 
true Masons have done from the beginning of the world, and 
will do to the end of time. Amen. So mote it be. 


Compiled first by Mr. George Payne, Anno 1720, when he was 
Grand Master, and approved by the Grand Lodge on St. John 
Baptist’s Day, Anno 1721, at Stationer’s Hall, London; when 
the most noble Prince John, Duke of Montagu , was unanimously 
chosen our Grand Master for the year ensuing; who chose John 
Beal, M. D., his Deputy Grand Master; and Mr. Josiah Ville- 
neau and Mr. Thomas Morris, Jun., were chosen by the Lodge 
Grand Wardens. And now, by the command of our said Right 
Worshipful Grand Master Montagu, the Author of this book has 
compared them with, and reduced them to the ancient Records 
and immemorial Usages of the Fraternity, and digested them 
into this new method, with several proper Explications, for the 
use of the Lodges in and about London and Westminster. 

I. The Grand Master or his Deputy hath authority and 
right not only to be present in any true Lodge, but also to 
preside wherever he is, with the Master of the Lodge on his 
left hand, and to order his Grand Wardens to attend him, 
who are not to act in particular Lodges as Wardens, but in 
his presence, and at his command; because there the Grand 
Master may command the Wardens of that Lodge, or any 



other Brethren he pleaseth, to attend and act as his Ward- 
ens pro tempore. 

II. The Master of a particular Lodge has the right and 
authority of congregating the members of his Lodge into a 
Chapter at pleasure, upon any emergency or occurrence, as 
well as to appoint the time and place of their usual forming; 
and in case of sickness, death, or necessary absence of the 
Master, the Senior Warden shall act as Master pro tempore t 
if no Brother is present who has been Master of that Lodge 
before ; for in that case the absent Master’s authority reverts 
to the last Master then present ; though he cannot act until 
the said Senior Warden has once congregated the Lodge, or, 
In his absence, the Junior Warden. 

III. The Master of each particular Lodge, or one of the 
Wardens, or some other Brother by his order, shall keep a 
book containing their By-laws, the names of their members, 
with a list of all the Lodges in town, and the usual times and 
places of their forming, and all their transactions that are 
proper to be written. 

IY. No Lodge shall make more than five new Brethren 
at one time, nor any man under the age of twenty- five, who 
must be also his own master, unless by a Dispensation from 
the Grand Master or his Deputy. 

Y. No man can be made or admitted a member of a par- 
ticular Lodge, without previous notice one month before 
given to the said Lodge, in order to make due inquiry into 
the reputation and capacity of the candidate ; unless by the 
Dispensation aforesaid. 

YI. But no man can be entered a Brother in any particu- 



lar Lodge, or admitted to be a member thereof, without the 
unanimous consent of all the members of that Lodge then 
present when the candidate is proposed, and their consent is 
formally asked by the Master ; and they are to signify their 
consent or dissent in their owm prudent way, either virtually 
or in form, but with unanimity: Nor is this inherent privi- 
lege subject to a Dispensation; because the members of a 
particular Lodge are the best judges of it; and if a fractious 
member should be imposed on them, it might spoil their har- 
mony or hinder their freedom; or even break or disperse 
the Lodge, which ought to be avoided by all good and true 

VII. Every new Brother at his making is decently to clothe 
the Lodge — that is, all the Brethren present — and to deposit 
something for the relief of indigent and decayed Brethren, as 
the candidate shall think fit to bestow, over and above the 
small allowance stated by the By-laws of that particular 
Lodge; which charity shall be lodged with the Master or 
Wardens, or the cashier, if the members think fit to choose one. 
And the candidate shall also solemnly promise to submit to 
the Constitutions, the Charges and Regulations, and to such 
other good Usages as shall be intimated to them in time and 
place convenient. 

VIII. No set or number of Brethren shall withdraw or 
separate themselves from the Lodge in which they were 
made Brethren, or were afterwards admitted members, unless 
the Lodge becomes too numerous ; nor even then without a 
Dispensation from the Grand Master or his Deputy; and 
when they are thus separated, they must either immediately 



join themselves to such other Lodge as they shall like best, 
with the unanimous consent of that other Lodge to which they 
go, (as above regulated,) or else they must obtain the Grand 
Master’s Warrant to join in forming a new lodge. 

If any set or number of Masons shall take upon themselves 
to form a Lodge without the Grand Master’s Warrant, the 
regular lodges are not to countenance them, nor own them 
as fair Brethren and duly formed, nor approve of their acts 
and deeds; but must treat them as rebels, until they humble 
themselves, as the Grand Master shall in his prudence direct, 
and until he approve of them by his Warrant, which must be 
signified to the other lodges, as the custom is when a new 
lodge is to be registered in the List of Lodges . 

IX. But if any Brother so far misbehave himself as to ren- 
der his Lodge uneasy, he shall be twice duly admonished by 
the Master or Wardens in a formed lodge; and if he will not 
refrain his imprudence, and obediently submit to the advice 
of the Brethren, and reform what gives them offence, he shall 
be dealt with according to the By-laws of that particular 
Lodge, or else in such a manner as the Quarterly Communi- 
cation shall in their great prudence think fit; for which a new 
Regulation may be afterwards made. 

X. The majority of every particular lodge, when congre- 
gated, shall have the privilege of giving instructions to their 
Master and Wardens, before the assembling of the Grand 
Chapter or Lodge, at the three Quarterly Communications 
hereafter mentioned, and of the Annual Grand Lodge too; 
because their Masters and Wardens are their representatives, 
and are supposed to speak their mind. 



XI. All particular lodges are to observe the same Usages 
as much as possible; in order to which, and for cultivating a 
good understanding among Freemasons, some members out 
of every lodge shall be deputed to visit the other lodges as 
often as shall be thought convenient. 

XII. The Grand Lodge consists of,- and is formed by the 
Masters and Wardens of all the regular particular lodges 
upon record, with the Grand Master at their head, and his 
Deputy on his left hand, and the Grand Wardens in their 
proper places, and must have a Quarterly Communication 
about Michaelmas, Christmas, and Lady-day, in some con- 
venient place, as the Grand Master shall appoint, where no 
Brother shall be present who is not at that time a member 
thereof, without a Dispensation; and while he stays, he shall 
not be allowed to vote, nor even give his opinion, without 
leave of the Grand Lodge, asked and given, or unless it be 
duly asked by the said lodge. 

All matters are to be determined in the Grand Lodge by 
a majority of votes, each member having one vote, and the 
Grand Master having two votes, unless the said lodge leave 
any particular thing to the determination of the Grand 
Master for the sake of expedition. 

XIII. At the said Quarterly Communication, all matters 
that concern the Fraternity in general, or particular Lodges, 
or single Brethren, are quietly, sedately, and maturely to be 
discoursed of and transacted: Apprentices must be admitted 
Masters and Fellow Craft only here, unless by a Dispensation. 
Here also all differences that cannot be made up and accom- 
modated privately, nor by a particular Lodge, are to be seri- 



ously considered and decided: And if any Brother thinks 
himself aggrieved by the decision of this Board, he may ap- 
peal to the Annual Grand Lodge next ensuing, and leave his 
appeal in writing with the Grand Master, or his Deputy, or 
the Grand Wardens. 

Here, also, the Master or the Wardens of each particular 
Lodge shall bring and produce a list of such members as 
have been made, or even admitted, in their particular lodges 
since the last communication of the Grand Lodge: and there 
shall be a book kept by the Grand Master or his Deputy, or 
rather by some brother whom the Grand Lodge shall appoint 
for Secretary, wherein shall be recorded all the Lodges , with 
their usual times and places of forming, and the names of all 
the members of each Lodge; and all the affairs of the Grand 
Lodge that are proper to be written. 

They shall also consider of the most prudent and effectual 
methods of collecting and disposing of what money shall be 
given to or lodged with them in Charity, towards the relief 
only of any true Brother fallen into poverty or decay, but of 
none else: But every particular Lodge shall dispose of their 
own Charity for poor Brethren, according to their own By- 
laws, until it be agreed by all the lodges (in a new Regula- 
tion) to carry in the Charity collected by them to the Grand 
Lodge, at the Quarterly or Annual Communication, in order 
to make a common stock of it, for the more handsome relief 
of poor Brethren. 

They shall also appoint a Treasurer, a Brother of good 
worldly substance, who shall be a member of the Grand 
Lodge by virtue of his office, and shall be always present, 



and have power to move to the Grand Lodge anything, espe- 
cially what concerns his office. To him shall be committed all 
money raised for Charity, or for any other use of the Grand 
Lodge, which he shall write down in a book, with the respect- 
ive ends and uses for which the several sums are intended; and 
shall expend and disburse the same by such a certain order 
signed, as the Grand Lodge shall afterwards agree to in a 
new Regulation: But he shall not vote in choosing a Grand 
Master or Wardens, though in every other transaction. As 
in like manner the Secretary shall be a member of the Grand 
Lodge by virtue of his office, and vote in everything, except 
in choosing a Grand Master or Wardens. 

The Treasurer and Secretary shall have each a clerk, who 
must be a Brother and Fellow r Craft, but never must be a 
member of the Grand Lodge, nor speak without being allowed 
or desired. 

The Grand Master, or his Deputy, shall always command 
the Treasurer and Secretary, with their clerks and books, in 
order to see how matters go on, and to know what is expe- 
dient to be done upon any emergent occasion. 

Another Brother (who must be a Fellow Craft) should be 
appointed to look after the door of the Grand Lodge, but 
shall be no member of it. 

But these offices may be farther explained by a new Reg- 
ulation, when the necessity and expediency of them may 
more appear than at present to the Fraternity. 

XIY. If at any Grand Lodge, stated or occasional, quar- 
terly or annual, the Grand Master aud his Deputy should be 
both absent, then the present Master of a Lodge, that has 



been the longest a Freemason, shall take the chair, and pre- 
side as Grand Master pro tempore, and shall be vested with 
all his power and honor for the time: provided there is no 
Brother present that has been Grand Master formerly, or 
Deputy Grand Master; for the last Grand Master present, 
or else the last Deputy present, should always of right take 
place in the absence of the present Grand Master and his 

XY. In the Grand Lodge none can act as Wardens but 
the Grand Wardens themselves, if present; and, if absent, 
the Grand Master, or the person who presides in his place, 
shall order private Wardens to act as Grand Wardens pro 
tempore , whose places are to be supplied by two Fellow Craft 
of the same Lodge, called forth to act, or sent thither by the 
particular Master thereof ; or if by him omitted, then they 
shall be called by the Grand Master, that so the Grand Lodge 
may be always complete. 

XYI. The Grand W ardens, or any others, are first to advise 
with the Deputy about the affairs of the Lodge or of the 
Brethren, and not to apply to the Grand Master without the 
knowledge of the Deputy, unless he refuse his concurrence in 
any certain necessary affair; in which case, or in case of any 
difference between the Deputy and the Grand Wardens, or 
other Brethren, both parties are to go by concert to the Grand 
Master, who can easily decide the controversy and make up 
the difference by virtue of his great authority. 

The Grand Master should receive no intimation of business 
concerning Masonry but from his Deputy first, except in such 
certain cases as his Worship can well judge of; for if the 



application to the Grand Master be irregular, he can easily 
order the Grand Wardens, or any other Brethren thus apply- 
ing, to wait upon his Deputy, who is to prepare the business 
Epeedily, and to lay it orderly before his Worship. 

XVII. No Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand 
Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary, or whoever acts for them, or 
in their stead pro tempore, can at the same time be the Master 
or Warden of a particular Lodge; but as soon as any of 
them has honorably discharged his Grand Office, he returns 
to that post or station in his particular Lodge, from which 
he was called to officiate above. 

XVIII. If the Deputy Grand Master be sick, or necessarily 
absent, the Grand Master may choose any Fellow Graft he 
please to be his Deputy pro tempore: But he that is chosen 
Deputy at the Grand Lodge, and the Grand Wardens too, 
cannot be discharged without the cause fairly appear to the 
majority of the Grand Lodge; and the Grand Master, if he 
is uneasy, may call a Grand Lodge on purpose to lay the 
cause before them, and to have their advice and concurrence: 
in which case, the majority of the Grand Lodge, if they cannot 
reconcile the Master and his Deputy or his Wardens, are to 
concur in allowing the Master to discharge his said Deputy 
or his said Wardens, and to choose another Deputy immedi- 
ately; and the said Grand Lodge shall choose other Wardens 
in that case, that harmony and peace may be preserved. 

XIX. If the Grand Master should abuse his power, and 
render himself unworthy of the obedience and subjection of 
the Lodges, he shall be treated in a way and manner to be 
agreed upon in a new Regulation; because hitherto the An- 



cient Fraternity have had no occasion for it, their former 
Grand Masters having all behaved themselves worthy of that 
honorable office. 

XX. The Grand Master, with his Deputy and Wardens, 
shall (at least once) go round and visit all the Lodges about 
town during his mastership. 

XXI. If the Grand Master die during his mastership, or 
by sickness, or by being beyond sea, or any other way should 
be rendered incapable of discharging his office, the Deputy, 
or, in his absence, the Senior Grand Warden, or, in his ab- 
sence, the Junior, or, in his absence, any three present Mas- 
ters of Lodges, shall join to congregate the Grand Lodge 
immediately, to advise together upon that emergency, and 
to send two of their number to invite the last Grand Master 
to resume his office, which now in course reverts to him; 
or, if he refuse, then the next last, and so backward. But 
if no former Grand Master can be found, then the Deputy 
shall act as Principal until another is chosen; or, if there be 
no Deputy, then the oldest Master. 

XXII. The Brethren of all the Lodges in and about 
London and Westminster shall meet at an Annual Communi- 
cation and Feast , in some convenient place, on St. John Bap- 
tist's Day, or else on St. John Evangelist's Day, as the Grand 
Lodge shall think fit by a new Regulation , having of late years 
met on St. John Baptist’s Day: Provided, 

The majority of the Masters and Wardens, with the Grand 
Master, his Deputy and Wardens, agree at their Quarterly 
Communications, three months before, that there shall be a 
Feast and a General Communication of all the Brethren: For 



if either the Grand Master, or the majority of the particular 
Masters, are against it, it must be dropped for that time. 

But whether there shall be a Feast for all the Brethren or 
not, yet the Grand Lodge must meet in some convenient 
place annually on St. John’s Day; or, if it be Sunday, then 
on the next day, in order to choose every year a new Grand 
Master, Deputy and Wardens. 

XXIII. If it be thought expedient, and the Grand Master, 
with the majority of the Masters and Wardens, agree to hold 
a Grand Feast, according to the ancient laudable custom of 
Masons, then the Grand Wardens shall have the care of pre- 
paring the tickets, sealed with the Grand Master’s seal, of 
disposing of the tickets, of receiving the money for the 
tickets, of buying the materials of the Feast, of finding out 
a proper and convenient place to feast in, and of every other 
thing that concerns the entertainment. 

But, that the work may not be too burdensome to the two 
Grand Wardens, and that all matters may be expeditiously 
and safely managed, the Grand Master or his Deputy shall 
have power to nominate and appoint a certaiu number of 
Stewards, as his Worship shall think fit, to act in concert 
with the two Grand Wardens; all things relating to the Feast 
being decided amongst them by a majority of voices, except 
the Grand Master or his Deputy interpose by a particular 
direction or appointment. 

XXIY. The Wardens and Stewards shall in due time wait 
upon thfc Grand Master or his Deputy for directions and 
orders about the premises ; but if his Worship and his 
Deputy are sick, or necessarily absent, they shall call together 



the Masters and Wardens of Lodges to meet on purpose for 
their advice and orders; or else they may take the matter 
wholly upon themselves, and do the best they can. 

The Grand Wardens and the Stewards are to account for 
all the money they receive, or expend, to the Grand Lodge, 
after dinner, or when the Grand Lodge shall think fit to 
receive their accounts. 

If the Grand Master pleases, he may in due time summon 
all the Masters and Wardens of Lodges, to consult with them 
about ordering the Grand Feast, and about any emergency 
or accidental thing relating thereunto, that may require 
advice, or else to take it upon himself altogether. 

XXV. The Masters of Lodges shall each appoint one expe- 
rienced and discreet Fellow Craft of his Lodge, to compose a 
committee, consisting of one from every Lodge, who shall 
meet to receive, in a convenient apartment, every person 
that brings a ticket, and shall have power to discourse him, 
if they think fit, in order to admit him or debar him, as they 
shall see cause : Provided they send no man away before they 
have acquainted all the Brethren within doors with the rea- 
sons thereof, to avoid mistakes; that so no true Brother may 
be debarred, nor a false brother or mere pretender admitted. 
This committee must meet very early on St. John’s Day at the 
place, even before any persons come with tickets. 

XXVI. The Grand Master shall appoint two or more 
trusty Brethren to be porters or door-keepers, who are also 
to be early at the place, for some good reasons, and who arc 
to be at the command of the committee. 

XXVII. The Grand Wardens or the Stewards shall ap- 



point beforehand such a number of brethren to serve at table 
as they think fit and proper for that work; and they may 
advise with the Masters and Wardens of Lodges about the 
most proper persons, if they please, or may take in such by 
their recommendation; for none are to serve that day but 
Free and Accepted Masons, that the communication may be 
free and harmonious. 

XXVIII. All the members of the Grand Lodge must be 
at the place long before dinner, with the Grand Master or 
his Deputy at their head, who shall retire, and form them- 
selves. And this is done in order — 

1. To receive any appeals, duly lodged, as above regulated, 
that the appellant may be heard, and the affair may be ami- 
cably decided before dinner, if possible; but if it cannot, it 
must be delayed till after the new Grand Master is elected; 
and if it cannot be decided after dinner, it may be delayed, 
and referred to a particular committee, that shall quietly 
adjust it, and make report to the next Quarterly Communi- 
cation, that Brotherly Love may be preserved. 

2. To prevent any difference or disgust which may be feared 
to arise that day, that no interruption may be given to the 
harmony and pleasure of the Grand Feast. 

3. To consult about whatever concerns the decency and 
decorum of the Grand Assembly, and to prevent all inde- 
cency and ill manners, the assembly being promiscuous. 

4. To receive and consider of any good motion, or any 
momentous and important affair, that shall be brought from 
the particular lodges by their representatives, their several 
Masters and Wardens. 



XXIX. After these things are discussed, the Grand Mas- 
ter and his Deputy, the Grand Wardens or the Stewards, the 
Secretary, the Treasurer, the clerks, and every other person 
shall withdraw, and leave the Masters and W ardens of the 
particular lodges alone, in order to consult amicably about 
electing a new Grand Master, or continuing the present, if 
they have not done it the day before ; and if they are unani- 
mous for continuing the present Grand Master, his Worship 
shall be called in, and humbly desired to do the Fraternity 
the honor of ruling them for the year ensuing: And after 
dinner it will be known whether he accepts of it or not: for 
it should not be discovered but by the election itself. 

XXX. Then the Masters and Wardens, and all the Breth- 
ren, may converse promiscuously, or as they please to sort 
together, until the dinner is coming in, when every Brother 
takes his seat at table. 

XXXI. Some time after dinner, the Grand Lodge is form- 
ed, not in the retirement, but in the presence of all the 
Brethren, who yet are not members of it, and must not 
therefore speak until they are desired and allowed. 

XXXII. If the Grand Master of last year has consented 
with the Master and Wardens in private, before dinner, to 
continue for the year ensuing, then one of the Grand Lodge, 
deputed for that purpose, shall represent to all the Brethren 
his Worship’s good government, etc. And, turning to him, 
shall, in the name of the Grand Lodge, humbly request him 
to do the Fraternity the great honor, (if nobly born, if not,) 
the great kindness of continuing to be their Grand Master for 
Jie year ensuing. And his Worship declaring his consent by 



a bow or a speech, as lie pleases, the said deputed member 
of the Grand Lodge shall proclaim him Grand Master, and 
all the members of the Lodge shall salute him in due form. 
And all the Brethren shall for a few minutes have leave to 
declare their satisfaction, pleasure, and congratulation. 

XXXIII. But if either the Master and Wardens have not 
in private, this day before dinner, nor the day before, desired 
the last Grand Master to continue in the mastership another 
year; or if he, when desired, has not consented; then 

The last Grand Master shall nominate his successor for 
the year ensuing, who, if unanimously approved by the 
Grand Lodge, and, if there present, shall be proclaimed, 
saluted, and congratulated the new Grand Master, as above 
hinted, and immediately installed by the last Grand Master, 
according to Usage. 

XXXIY. But if that nomination is not unanimously ap- 
proved, the new Grand Master shall be chosen immediately 
by ballot, every Master and Warden writing his man’s name, 
and the last Grand Master writing his man’s name too; and 
the man whose name the last Grand Master shall first take 
out, casually or by chance, shall be Grand Master for the 
year ensuing; and, if present, he shall be proclaimed, saluted, 
and congratulated, as above hinted, and forthwith installed 
by the last Grand Master, according to Usage. 

XXXY. The last Grand Master thus continued, or the 
new Grand Master thus installed, shall next nominate and 
appoint his Deputy Grand Master, either the last or a new 
one, who shall be also declared, saluted, and congratulated, 
as above hinted. 



The Grand Master shall also nominate the new Grand 
"Wardens, and, if unanimously approved by the Grand Lodge, 
shall be declared, saluted, and congratulated, as above hinted; 
but if not, they shall be chosen by ballot, in the same way as 
the Grand Master: As the Wardens of private lodges are 
also to be chosen by ballot in each Lodge, if the members 
thereof do not agree to their Master's nomination. 

XXXYI. But if the Brother whom the present Grand 
Master shall nominate for his successor, or whom the majority 
of the Grand Lodge shall happen to choose by ballot, is, by 
sickness or other necessary occasion, absent from the Grand 
Feast, he cannot be proclaimed the new Grand Master, unless 
the old Grand Master, or some of the Masters and Wardens 
of the Grand Lodge can vouch, upon the honor of a brother, 
that the said person, so nominated or chosen, will readily 
accept of the said office ; in which case the old Grand Master 
shall act as proxy, and shall nominate the Deputy and Ward- 
ens in his name, and in his name also receive the usual hon- 
ors, homage, and congratulation. 

XXXYII. Then the Grand Master shall allow any Brother, 
Fellow Craft, or Apprentice to speak, directing his discourse 
to his Worship; or to make any motion for the good of the 
Fraternity, which shall be either immediately considered and 
finished, or else referred to the consideration of the Grand 
Lodge at their next communication, stated or occasional. 
When that is over, 

XXXYIII. The Grand Master or his Deputy, or some 
Brother appointed by him, shall harangue all the Brethren, 
and give them good advice: And, lastly, after some other 



transactions, that cannot be written in any language, the 
Brethren may go away or stay longer, as they please. 

XXXIX. Every Annual Grand Lodge has an inherent 
power and authority to make new Regulations, or to alter 
these, for the real benefit of this ancient Fraternity: Provided 
always that the old Landmarks be carefully preserved, and that 
such alterations and new Regulations be proposed and agreed 
to at the third quarterly communication preceding the Anuual 
Grand Feast; and that they be offered also to the perusal of 
all the Brethren before dinner, in writing, even of the youngest 
Apprentice; the approbation and consent of the majority of 
all the Brethren present being absolutely necessary to make 
the same binding and obligatory; which must, after dinner, 
and after the new Grand Master is installed, be solemnly de- 
sired ; as it was desired and obtained for these Regulations, 
when proposed by the Grand Lodge, to about 150 Brethren, 
on St. John Baptist’s Day, 1721. 

“With tlie authorities here given, the Constitutions 
of his Grand Lodge, and the By-laws of the Lodge 
which he governs, the Master ought to be able to 
solve most, if not all, of the questions that present 
themselves in the ordinary course of events. 

In the succeeding chapters we shall endeavor to 
demonstrate their application to the prominent top- 
ics of the institution. 

\ ft R A Rp 

" Of THE 




Spates Hiding U tadirnds* 


Masonry, like society in general, is an aggregate 
of individuals, and exercises, as a body, the sover- 
eignty primarily invested in the individual Masons. 
The source of power being in the people, it is im- 
portant to consider who are the proper persons to 
be admitted among us, and the qualifications which 
are indispensable to the success of an application 
for admission. 

The applicant must be free-born , “having no maim 
or defect in his body, that may render him uncapable 
of learning the art, and being made a brother.” 

He must be of lawful age; that is, at least twenty- 
one years ; nor can any authority change or remove 
this requirement. It is the custom in Europe to 
admit the son of a Mason, who is called a leivis or 
louveteaUy and members of the royal family, at the age 
of eighteen ; but in this country we regard Masonry 
as of too serious a character to be intrusted to boys, 
and hence we follow the rule in its integrity. 

He must be under the tongue of good report; that is 
to say, of good moral character and standing in the 



community, and have a visible and honorable means 
of obtaining a livelihood for himself and those who 
may be dependent upon him. 

He must acknowledge and declare his hdief in the 
existence of a Supreme Being , and a future state of 
existence ; and that not only does he seek admission 
of his own free will and accord, but that he is not in- 
cited thereto by the solicitation of friends, nor by the 
inducement of mercenary or other unworthy motives. 

He must be a resident of the place in which he 
seeks to be initiated. In other countries than our 
own, this law is not acknowledged, and, indeed, it is 
to be admitted that until about the year 1848 it was 
unknown here. The regulation is now, however, in 
force throughout the United States — exceptions being 
generally made in the case of mariners in the actual 
practice of their profession, and officers in the mili- 
tary or naval service of the general government — and 
has arisen from the necessities of our contiguous 
jurisdictions ; the increase of lodges often bringing 
those of neighboring States in close proximity to the 
line on either side, which, together with the facilities 
of travel, have often given rise to unpleasant feelings 
between the brethren, by the working up in one juris- 
diction of material belonging to another. The great 
evil of the indiscriminate making of Masons without 
regard to their place of residence, has been the facil- 



ity thus afforded to men who had no characters to 
lose at home, going abroad, and palming themselves 
off on some new-found acquaintance as suitable can- 
didates for the honors of Masonry; obtaining, by 
indirection, what would have been promptly refused 
them where they were known, and thus committing a 
fraud upon the Craft. For this, and for other reasons 
that will appear in their proper place, the law has 
become general that a man can only be initiated in 
the lodge nearest his place of residence, within the 
Masonic jurisdiction in which he has his legal home. 

He should have a fixed and steady purpose in his 
own mind that, in uniting himself with the Masonic 
fraternity, thus becoming part of an association dating 
in principle from the earliest civilization, and always 
found engaged in the endeavor to enfranchise the 
spirit of man from the bonds of ignorance and error, 
he does so with a desire to extend the sphere of his 
own usefulness, and to derive happiness from the 
effort to increase the happiness of others. He should 
consider that in a society existing wherever civiliza- 
tion extends, and embracing within its membership 
men of every station in life, there must necessarily 
be some with whom he would not willingly associate ; 
and yet, once received, they will be his brethren, and 
have the right to claim his assistance and protection, 
should they be in distress from legitimate causes, 



and thus he must be prepared to exercise the virtue 
of self-abnegation. 

He should also understand that, as a Mason, it 
will be his duty to examine into and study the history 
and ethics of the society, that he may be prepared 
to discharge the functions and duties that may be 
laid upon him, from which it follows that he should 
have received at least a moderate degree of mental 
culture ; be capable of reading, that he may enrich 
his own mind ; of writing, that he may communicate 
his thoughts to others, and thus help to increase the 
general store of knowledge, not hiding his light under 
a bushel, nor remaining satisfied to be a hewer of 
wood and drawer of water, but striving to improve 
the talent committed to him, for his own advance- 
ment and that of the fraternity. 

The candidate, thus qualified, proceeds in the steps 
necessary to his acceptance and subsequent progress, 
by subscribing to, and causing to be presented to the 
nearest Lodge, his petition, which we now proceed to 


It was the custom in olden times — and the rule is 
still in force, though sadly neglected — that a person 
desirous of being made a Mason should present a 
petition to the Lodge in which he desired to be ini- 
tiated. In many lodges, the practice now is, for a 


member to rise in bis place, and say, “ I propose Mr. 

for initiation in this Lodge or the name of 

the candidate, with bis age, occupation, etc., is banded 
to tbe Secretary, in which case tbe formula is varied 

by bis saying, “ Brother Blank proposes Mr ,” 

etc. This is not only a loose way of doing business, 
but is positively unmasonic ; because it has always 
been required that tbe candidate should present a 
petition, signed with bis full name, and recommended 
by two brethren, as an evidence that tbe act was one 
of bis own free-will, and with a distinct understand- 
ing of what be proposed to do. The document itself 
should be preserved in tbe archives of the Lodge, as 
an evidence of tbe jurisdiction acquired by the Lodge 
in tbe premises. It may be in tbe following or some 
similar form : 

11 To the, Worshipful Master , Wardens and Brethren of 

Lodge , No , of Free and Accepted Masons. 

“The undersigned petitioner respectfully sheweth, that 
having long entertained a favorable opinion of your ancient 
institution, he now voluntarily offers himself as a candidate 

for initiation and membership in your Lodge. He is 

years of age; his occupation ; resides 

(Signed) “A. B.” 






This petition* must be read at a stated meeting of 
the Lodge : no business relating to the petition of or 
ballot for a candidate can be transacted at a special 
meeting. The reason for this is found in the Fifth 
and Sixth of the Thirty-nine Articles cited in the 
preceding chapter, namely, that all the brethren may 
have timely notice, and, by inquiry into the character 
and habits of the petitioner, be prepared to prevent 
a fractious or unwholesome member being imposed 
upon the Lodge. If it is decided to receive the peti- 
tion, it is then entered upon the record, and referred 
to a committee for investigation. It has now become 
the property of the Lodge, and cannot be withdrawn, 
but must take the usual course by report of committee 
and ballot. It is the duty of the committee not only 
to satisfy themselves that the candidate is in posses- 
sion of the necessary qualifications, but that he has 
not previously been rejected by any other Lodge ; for 
in that case, he could not be received (without the 
consent of the rejecting Lodge, and not even then,) 
till after the lapse of a certain time provided for in 

* In the majority of lodges it is required that the petition should 
be accompanied by a fee — usually five dollars — as an earnest of the 
sincerity of the petitioner. It has been decided, however, that the 
money so deposited does not become the property of the lodge till 
action has been taken on the petition, the understanding being 
that, in case of rejection, the fee shall be returned. — 0. L. of K 
Y. t 1859. 



the local regulations of the several Grand Lodges — • 
six months in some, one year in others. The reason 
for this may be found in the Fifth of the Ancient 
Charges : — “ None shall discover envy at the pros- 
perity of a brother, nor supplant him, or put him out 
of his work, if he be capable to finish the same ; for 
no man can finish another’s work so much to the 
Lord’s profit, unless he be thoroughly acquainted with 
the designs and draughts of him that began it.” 
Practically, however, it arises from the necessities of 
multiplied lodges and jurisdictions. Its intention is, 
not only to preserve harmony among the lodges, but 
to shield the Craft against the wiles of improper per- 
sons, determined to force themselves upon it at all 
hazards. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the 
rejected candidate and his friends feel that a grievous 
injustice has been done him, and, in the spirit of 
human nature, set about the discovery of some means 
of retaliation. Without stopping to point out the 
unjustifiable and unmasonic nature of such proceed- 
ings, it is only necessary to say, that although, in 
some cases, there may be injustice — for Masons are 
not devoid of fadings — it must not be forgotten that 
the ballot, being “ strictly and inviolably secret,” we 
cannot lawfully inquire into the cause of rejection, 
and can, therefore, only deal with it as a fact for 
which we are not responsible. Moreover, it is always 



of greater importance that the Craft should be pro- 
tected against the admission of improper material, 
and that peace and harmony should be preserved in 
the Lodge, than it is that any man, however distin- 
guished, should be admitted to its privileges ; hence 
the legal delay can never work harm, nor can there 
be any shadow of injustice in allowing the Lodge to 
which the application w T as first made, and that thus 
acquired jurisdiction, to retain it, till time and inves- 
tigation shall have convinced them of the propriety 
of their first act, or of its reversal, on the presenta- 
tion of a new petition. Mistakes are common to all 
men and bodies of men, and it does sometimes hap- 
pen that a black ball is cast in error, as in a case of 
mistaken identity; but this does not alter the fact 
of the rejection, nor is there any remedy but the 
presentation of a new petition wdien the proper time 
has arrived. In this connection it is proper to re- 
mark, that the candidate, w T hen waited upon by the 
committee, must — as the lawyers say — w r ell and truly 
answer all questions that may be put to him touching 
the matter in hand ; for it is a well-settled principle 
that a Mason may be disciplined for an offence com- 
mitted previous to his initiation, a knowledge of which 
was willfully concealed at the time of his making. — 
( G . L. of JSF. Y., 1861.) Thus, a person who had 
applied to a lodge, and been rejected, and who, on 



his application to another lodge, concealed that fact, 
might, and ought to he disciplined for the deception 
so practiced ; for although, as a profane, he was not 
amenable to Masonic law, he was bound to act as an 
honest man, in whose lexicon false pretences have 
no place. 


Assuming the committee to have made its report, 
favorable or otherwise, the next step is the ballot, 
which is now the universal method by which the 
brethren express their acceptance or rejection of a 
candidate ; for the ancient regulations do not specify 
any particular mode of voting, but only that it shall 
be done prudently and with unanimity. The first 
and most important consideration in connection with 
the ballot is, that it shall not be taken till one month 
after the reception of the petition. We are aware 
that the practice is to ballot, in most lodges, at the 
expiration of two weeks, and in some cases one weelc, 
which is in accordance with the local regulations of 
many Grand Lodges, the letter of such regulations 
being, that “ a petition for initiation or affiliation can 
only be received at a stated communication, and 
must be laid over till the following one ; which cor- 
rectly answered the requirements when lodges met 
but once a month ; but now, when nine lodges out of 
ten meet twice in each month, and many four times. 



the letter may still be adhered to, but the spirit is 
certainly violated. The ancient rule, to be found in 
the General Regulations of 1721, that “ no man can 
be made or admitted a member of a particular lodge 
without previous notice, one month before given to 
the said lodge,” is still in force ; and, if not abso- 
lutely a landmark, is at all events a law of universal 
acceptance and observance, except in the United 
States. The Constitution of New York (to which we 
refer because we are best acquainted with it) cites, 
as a landmark, that “ a candidate must be proposed 
in open lodge, at a stated meeting, and can only be 
accepted at a stated meeting following nothing 
being said of the lapse of “ one month,” found in the 
old regulation above quoted, from "which it professes 
to be taken ; but in 1858 the Grand Master decided 
that a proposition for honorary membership must he 
over for one month. Now, if the empty privileges of 
honorary membership require a month’s considera- 
tion on the part of the lodge conferring them, surely 
the important act of receiving a profane into active 
membership ought, at least, to be as maturely con- 
sidered. A majority of the Grand Lodges we are, 
however, happy to say, enforce the rule in its integ- 
rity, and that they are right in so doing, there can 
be no question. 

There must he a hallo * : for it is the right of every 



member to express his acquiescence in the admission 
of the petitioner, or his refusal of that admission, as 
his judgment may dictate ; and that, too, with entire 
independence of any responsibility, save that due to 
his own conscience. If it be held that an unfavora- 
ble report is equivalent to a rejection, and that there 
is no need of a ballot, by a parity of reasoning it 
might be said that a favorable report insures an elec- 
tion, and thus do away with the ballot altogether. 

The ballot must be unanimous . — In Europe the prac- 
tice is, to require three or more negative ballots for a 
rejection ; but as the oldest law we know of requires 
unanimity, and we desire to “ stand on the old ways,” 
our rule is, that without unanimity, no candidate can 
be accepted. 

All the Brethren present must vote . — In so important 
a matter as the admission of a new member, it is 
evident that all present should participate, because 
it is the duty of every member to see that, so far as 
his influence goes, no unworthy person is admitted 
to membership ; because, if only a portion of the 
members vote, the old regulation, requiring the unan- 
imous consent of all present, cannot be complied with. 
It is true, that by unanimous consent a Brother may 
be excused from voting, but, in that case, the Lodge 
assumes the responsibility, and it is no longer the 
act of a single individual. 



The ballot must be secret. — Without this indispensa- 
ble quality, its purity and independence cannot bo 
preserved ; hence it is that no Brother has a right 
to expose the manner of his ballot, or to make 
known afterward how he has voted; for otherwise 
the harmony of the Lodge would bo disturbed, and 
the conscientious restriction that now rests upon 
every Brother as he approaches the ballot-box would 
be removed. The exposure of the ballot may, under 
certain circumstances, be made a cause for discipline. 

The ballot cannot be unreasonably postponed . — That 
is, in the ordinary course of affairs, a motion to post- 
pone the ballot should not be entertained, because, 
in that case, some brother may be deprived of his 
right, and ultimately an unworthy or “fractious mem- 
ber be imposed on them.” But for reasonable cause, 
a ballot might be postponed, though not to a distant 
period of time. 

An unfavorable ballot cannot be reconsidered. — When 
after the usual course the ballot is pronounced unfa- 
vorable, the petition must also be declared rejected, 
and that is the end of it until the regulations of the 
Grand Lodge allow its presentation anew. Hence, 
no motion to reconsider can be entertained ; but if, 
before the declaration of the state of the ballot, and 
before any of the brethren participating in it shall 
have left the Lodge, the Master, to avoid the possi- 



bility of mistake, or for other reasons, which to his 
judgment seem proper, shall see fit to cause it to be 
passed again, or even a third time, it is his undoubted 
prerogative to do so, though it is recommended that if, 
on the second ballot, the result still appear unfavor- 
able, it should then cease, and the formal declaration 
be made. 

When the ballot is held on an application for affil- 
iation, the same rules apply, but there is no delay 
required in the presentation of a new application. 
In such case, however, the Master should cause the 
petition to lie over at least one regular meeting, that 
all the Brethren may have an opportunity to express 
their wishes. It will also be understood that although 
a petition may be presented at any time, the Lodge 
may always decide whether it will or will not receive it. 

It is now generally admitted that a ballot for each 
degree is an undeniable right when demanded ; but 
when the ballot for the first degree has been had, the 
Lodge may refuse another for that degree, unless 
cause be shown. Although, in regard to the last 
position, such is the decision (several times affirmed) 
of our mother Grand Lodge, we cannot, after mature 
reflection, say that we approve it. The old regula- 
tion says, that “no man can be entered a brother in 
any particular Lodge, or be admitted a member 
thereof, without the unanimous consent of all the 



members of that Lodge, then present when the can- 
didate is proposed , and their consent is formally asked 
by the Master.” There is, we think, a misunderstand- 
ing as to the purport of the word “proposed,” — it 
being generally taken in its modern sense, with refer- 
ence to the first proposition, or, more properly, pre- 
sentation of the petition, and not to the actual making. 
But we have already shown that the present fashion 
of proposing a candidate is of modem origin, and, 
like many similar innovations, has crept into our 
lodges with the initiation of persons previously afiil- 
iated in other associations. The proposition here 
referred to is, beyond doubt, that made by the Mas- 
ter when the candidate, having petitioned for initia- 
tion, the petition having been received, and referred 
to the usual committee, the committee having report- 
ed, and the ballot having proved favorable, and the 
candidate having presented himself for initiation, he 
asks the formal consent of the Lodge to proceed to 
that ceremony. Under these circumstances, it would 
clearly be the right of any brother to object to fur- 
ther proceeding, and the objection w r ould have to be 
respected ; otherwise the harmony of the Lodge would 
be destroyed and a brother be offended, and perhaps 
driven out of the Lodge, for the sake of a profane. 
Such is the almost universal decision of the authori- 
ties in the United States, and we agree with them. 



The ballot is of such paramount importance, that, 
in concluding this chapter, we trust to be pardoned 
for detaining the reader with a few considerations 
connected with the use of the black ball. The nega- 
tive ballot has been aptly termed the palladium of 
Masonry ; for on its discreet use the institution relies 
as a safeguard against the unworthy, who seek ad- 
mission to our temples for purposes utterly foreign 
to the designs laid down upon the original trestle- 
boards of the Craft. The more popular Masonry 
becomes, the greater will be the number of the pro- 
fane, finding much in it to admire, nothing to condemn, 
and everything to gain by affiliation with it ; and the 
greater will be the necessity for some one in each 
Lodge to stand guard over the sanctuary, armed with 
an instrument that shall execute his will, 

“As lightning does the will of God.” 

Such, in the hands of a true and trusty brother, is 
the black-ball. Well would it be for Masonry if no 
others used it ; well would it be for Masons if they 
could school their minds to a rigid respect for its 
appearance in the ballot, even though a brother were 
passing the ordeal. To these causes, more than all 
others, may be traced the difficulties that arise in 
Lodges : the scandal, the heart-burnings, the shame, 
that so often attend on personal quarrels, pursued to 
the bitter end with all the spiteful animosity arising 



from real or fancied injury. In the first place, then, 
it may be said that none but discreet brethren should 
assume to use this potent agent for good or evil, as 
the case may be : or perhaps it were better to say, 
that none should use it, but with the utmost discre- 
tion, as an act of conscience, in the execution of 
which, not even the dearest friend — no consideration 
of personal advantage — no fear of injury or ill-will — 
should for a moment be allowed to come ; that, above 
all, it should not be used in a spirit of levity, nor 
from the desire to gratify a personal pique either 
against the petitioner or his friends ; for in most cases 
where passion is allowed to rule, the smirk of satis- 
fied malevolence betrays the secret. The adverse 
party, in the heat of disappointment, will seek a 
counter-revenge, and thus the fire being lighted, it 
will — as it has done — devastate the entire lodge, and 
scatter its membership, never again to be reunited. 
But, on the other hand, when the humblest brother 
knows that an applicant is unfit to be invested with 
the high prerogatives of the Fraternity, he should 
veto his admission without fear or favor. It would 
seem, however, that less danger is to be apprehended 
from the improper use of the ballot, than from the 
refusal of those immediately interested in the result to 
submit quietly to the action of the Lodge in refusing 
to admit to the privileges of Masonry one who, to 
them, may be a near and dear friend, but, to others. 



a manifestly improper person. Consequently, we 
may with propriety assert, that the duty of submission 
to the award of the brethren is even more important 
than the correct discharge of duty at the ballot-box. 
No man has a right to admission into the Craft, and 
his acceptance is, therefore, a favor granted, and not 
a right conceded. Why, then, should we feel ag- 
grieved if, for good reasons, (for we are bound to 
believe that whoever uses the negative ballot does so 
with a firm conviction of the justice of his act,) the 
Lodge choose not to receive our friend among its 
members? or because all men do not place the same 
estimate upon him that we do? Reflection must 
convince us that such action cannot be justified, and 
that it is better to submit in silence to what we be- 
lieve to be a wrong, in the hope of proving in the 
future the mistake of our opponents, rather than by 
giving way to the sudden impulses of passion, and 
thus, by implication, proving the unfitness of our 
friend by the very standard we ourselves set up. 
Time, that cures so many ills, will rarely fail to 
soothe the angry feelings and mitigate the sense of 
wrong, and still more rarely will it fail to do justice 
to the claim of any good man, whose pretensions may 
have been overlooked or unjustly treated. To it, 
when our friends have been rejected, we may safely 
trust, with the certainty that the delay required by 
our laws will never operate to the prejudice of a 



worthy candidate, while it may reveal a dark spot in 
the character of one we have deemed above reproach. 
Could all this be avoided, however, it would unques- 
tionably be better ; to which end we submit for con- 
sideration the method adopted by one of the French 
Lodges in the city of New York, which is this : — At 
each regular meeting of the Lodge, the Master of 
Ceremonies, by direction of the presiding officer, pre- 
sents to each member a suitable receptacle, into 
which those having petitions to offer place them. 
.These are handed to the Master, who reads them 
aloud, without, however, mentioning the name of the 
brother or brethren presenting them. The petitions 
then he over for two weeks, during which time every 
member choosing to do so may satisfy himself as 
to the character and standing of the candidates, 
and, if desirable, see them personally. At the next 
meeting, opportunity is afforded lo present objec- 
tions, if there be any; if none are offered, then 
the petition goes to the committee, whose names 
are known only to the Master and Secretary, and 
takes the usual course. On the report of the com- 
mittee, the Lodge proceeds to ballot, uninfluenced 
by any consideration but the personal character and 
fitness of the candidate. It is respectfully submit- 
ted that, in most, if not all cases, this plan would 
tend to prevent the unpleasant feelings arising from 
the use of the black-ball. 

8 R A * yr- 

or THE 





Haying now disposed of the preliminary steps to 
the making of a Mason, some of which, in order not 
to break the continuity of the argument, we have fol- 
lowed beyond that point, we now invite attention to 
the formation of a Lodge, and the various consider- 
ations that pertain to its establishment. 

In the third of the Ancient Charges, “a Lodge” is 
defined to be “ a place where Masons assemble and 
work ; hence that assembly or duly-organized society 
of Masons is called a Lodge , and every Brother ought 
to belong to one, and to be subject to its by-laws and 
the General Begulations.” 

Previous to the revival of Masonry in 1717, a Lodge 
was simply a congregation of Masons in some appro- 
priate or convenient place, by authority of the sheriff 
or civil magistrate, for the purpose of “ making ” one 
or more profanes, which ceremony being accomplish- 
ed, the assembly dissolved into its original elements, 
to meet at some future time, under like circumstances 
and for a similar purpose. Warrants of Constitution 
were then unknown, and the four old lodges that 



united in tlie formation of the Grand Lodge of Eng- 
land refused to be placed under the restrictions of a 
warrant — continuing their meetings by immemorial 
usage and the rights they had previously acquired. 
Their survivor still exists in London, and is of course 
on the registry of England, but has no number, being 
known as the Lodge of Antiquity. After the forma- 
tion of the Grand Lodge of England, Warrants of 
Constitution were granted directly by the Grand 
Master, and such is the custom in that jurisdiction 
to this day, as, indeed, in most, if not all others, 
outside of the United States of America. Here the 
more prudent rule obtains, of requiring new lodges 
to undergo a probation, of greater or less extent, ac- 
cording to the local regulations of the several Grand 
Lodges, as an earnest of their fitness to undertake 
the labors of Masonry, and carry them forward with 
profit to themselves and with honor to the Fraternity. 
Let us, therefore, commence with 


A Lodge under Dispensation is described as a tem- 
porary and inchoate body, not entitled to representa- 
tion in the Grand Lodge, and those who work it do 
not thereby forfeit their membership in any other 
lodge, unless they so elect at the time when the War- 
rant of Constitution issues. To form such a Lodge, 



it is required that a petition,* signed by not less than 
seven Master Masons in good and regular standing, 
and recommended by the nearest lodge, t be forward- 
ed to the Grand Master, who will, if he deems it for 
the general interest, issue Letters of Dispensation, 
empowering the petitioners to meet as a regular 
Lodge, and perform such acts as Lodges under Dis- 
pensation may of right do, or as may be allowed by 
the terms of the Dispensation and the regulations of 
the Grand Lodge, until the next succeeding commu- 
nication of the Grand Lodge, when the Dispensation 
ceases by its own limitation. 

The powers of a Lodge under Dispensation have 
been the subject of much argument, and the decisions 
on this topic are extremely varied and conflicting. 
The following summary will, we think, be found to 
embrace the most generally received opinions : — 1. A 
Lodge TJ. D. is but a committee — so to speak — of the 
Grand Master’s selection — a temporary body, which 
by his prerogative he may create or dissolve at his 
will. 2. It can hold no regular election, nor can its 
officers be installed. 3. It cannot be represented in 

* See Appendix. 

f In the State of New York, no Dispensation to form a new 
Lodge can be issued within three months next preceding the 
Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge, nor without the 
recommendation of all the Lodges whose jurisdiction shall be 
affected by such Dispensation, except in cities. 



Grand Lodge, because that body is composed of the 
Masters and Wardens of Warranted Lodges only. 4. 
It cannot try or discipline the Masons composing it, 
that being the prerogative of a Warranted Lodge. 
6. It cannot form a code of By-laws. 6. It cannot 
affiliate Masons. 7. In the event of a 'warrant being 
refused, the property and funds must be placed in 
the custody of the Grand Lodge. 

If these premises are correct, then Lodges U. D. 
are but legalized conventions for the purpose of con- 
ferring the three degrees of Masonry, and adding, to 
the extent of their opportunity, to the army of non- 
affiliated Masons. From the fifth and sixth proposi- 
tions above stated, we, however, emphatically dissent. 
Lodges we have seen were at first fully warranted by 
the Grand Master ; and it may safely be assumed, 
that when that power was surrendered to the Grand 
Lodge, it was in order that the whole Craft might, 
through their immediate representatives, have a voice 
in the creation of new Lodges ; that when the plan 
of issuing Letters of Dispensation was adopted, it 
was that, by the acts of the new Lodge during their 
term of probation, the brethren assembled in Grand 
Lodge might be able to judge of their fitness to hold 
a full warrant, and become duly-constituted Lodges ; 
that when the Grand Master issues his Dispensation 
for the formation of a Lodge, it is after careful exam- 



ination, on his part, of all the surrounding circum- 
stances, and with the direct expectation that, unless 
through some unworthy act on the part of the Lodge, 
a full warrant will be granted at the succeeding com- 
munication of the Grand Lodge. They are properly 
termed inchoate lodges , because they are in process 
of forming, or preparing for a permanent existence, 
under a warrant, and they are therefore just as com- 
petent to decide what particular regulations they will 
make for their own domestic government, as they 
would be after the granting of the warrant ; indeed, 
it would seem that a very important part of their 
preparation would be the formation of such a code, 
to be submitted, with the petition for a warrant, as a 
portion of the evidence of their capability in ‘con- 
ducting the affairs of a lodge. If to this we add the 
well-known rule, that even a warranted lodge must 
submit its By-laws to the Grand Lodge for approval, 
the argument in favor of our position would seem to 
be complete. In like manner, we think that, if a 
Lodge U. D. may initiate, pass and raise candidates, 
and thus increase their numbers, they may with equal 
propriety be intrusted with the power of affiliating 
such Masons as they may deem worthy. Such is the 
practice in the State of New York — these powers 
being specifically conferred in the Dispensation, 
which is granted to the persons named therein, and 



not, like a warrant, to the first three officers. No 
general law can, however, be stated, because Lodges 
U. D., being a modem and almost exclusively Ameri- 
can organization, each Grand Lodge makes such 
regulations in regard to them as it may deem best 
suited to the circumstances of its own jurisdiction. 


When the time fixed in the Dispensation has ex- 
pired, the work of the Lodge ceases, and the next 
step is the return of the Letters to the Grand Secre- 
tary, accompanied by a transcript of the minutes, a 
copy of the By-laws, (where the Grand Lodge per- 
mits Lodges U. D. to frame a code,) the proper Grand 
Lodge return of work done, the constitutional fee, 
and a petition for a warrant. These documents are 
laid before the proper committee of the Grand Lodge, 
and on their report the warrant issues. 

A warrant once granted to a Lodge is immutable 
so long as the Grand Lodge, of which it forms a con- 
stituent part, exists, and the members adhere to their 
allegiance, and pay the contributions required by the 
Constitution and Begulations of the Grand Lodge. 
In this respect, it differs materially from the Dis- 
pensation ; for while the latter is an emanation from 
the Grand Master, the Warrant has the direct sanc- 
tion of the Grand Lodge, attested by its seal and 



signatures — that is, those of the Grand Master, his 
Deputy, and the Grand Wardens — and can only be 
revoked by vote of the Grand Lodge, after due trial 
and unequivocal proof. The acts by which the war- 
rant may be forfeited are — Contumacy to the author- 
ity of the Grand Master or Grand Lodge ; Departure 
from the original plan of Masonry and Ancient Land- 
marks ; Disobedience to the Constitutions ; and Ceas- 
ing to meet for one year or more. The Warrant of a 
Lodge may be surrendered by the voluntary act of 
its members, after due summons, and when the mi- 
nority opposed to such surrender is less than seven 
in number. It is proper to remark, that the majority 
of Masons agree with us in this opinion, and found 
it, as we do, upon the assumption, that as seven Mas- 
ter Masons are competent to form a Lodge, therefore, 
so long as that number remain faithful, and desire to 
retain the Warrant, it cannot be surrendered.* A 

* A remarkable confirmation of this view occurred not long 
since in New Orleans, where a majority of the members of a Lodge 
had formed themselves into an association, transferred to that 
association the property and funds, (a large amount,) and then 
declared the Lodge dissolved. The minority protesting against 
this action, a suit at law ensued; and it was finally decided by the 
Court of last resort, that the minority were the legal custodians of 
the Lodge and its properties, and that, although the majority 
might withdraw, they could not dissolve the Lodge, so long as a 
competent number of members were desirous of continuing its 



majority of the Grand Lodges hold to this view, and 
in England they require the minority to be less than 
three ; but others, among which is the Grand Lodge 
of New York, allow a Warrant to be surrendered on 
the vote of a simple majority. As the Old Regula- 
tions make no mention of this occurrence in the his- 
tory of a lodge, for the evident reason that previous 
to 1717 there were no Warrants to surrender, it is 
now conceded to be a subject of local regulation, 
and each Grand Lodge makes its own laws for its 

The Warrant of a Lodge may be temporarily sus- 
pended, for cause, by the Grand Master ; but such 
suspension cannot extend beyond the next ensuing 
Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge. In 
New York, this suspension carries with it that of all 
the members, unless they be specially exempted at 
the time, but this is clearly a local regulation, — the 
general understanding being that the Grand Master, 
by his edict, arrests the work of the Lodge, and pre- 
vents its meetings, but that the Warrant remains in 
force until lawfully revoked by the Grand Lodge. 

But to return : The Warrant having been granted, 
it is necessary that certain ceremonies should be per- 
formed before the Lodge can be set at labor. These 
are : — 

The Consecration, by which the Brethren com- 



posing the new Lodge are set apart to the work of 
ruling and governing the household intrusted to their 
care, for the “greater glory of God.” 

The Dedication, by which they are reminded of 
the patrons of the Craft, and incited to emulate their 

The Constitution, by which, in the name and by 
authority of the Grand Lodge, they are formed into 
a just and regular assembly of Masons ; and, finally, 

The Installation, by which the officers are induct- 
ed into their several stations, and formally invested 
with the powers thereunto belonging. 

The order of these ceremonies, as here stated, dif- 
fers somewhat from the general usage, but it is such 
as we have always practiced, and appears to be in 
keeping with the end sought to be obtained. These 
services should be performed by the Grand Master 
in person, or by his immediate delegate or proxy. 
It is admitted that no one but the Grand Master or 
his representative can Constitute a Lodge ; and al- 
though the consecration and dedication are based 
upon the religious observances of antiquity, and are 
therefore religious in their nature, still they are essen- 
tial to the legality of the whole ceremony ; and while 
the Consecration Prayer ought to be rehearsed by 
the Chaplain, the formal declarations should all be 
made by the Grand Master. 




When the ceremony is completed, the Lodge takes 
its place in the great Masonic family, as the peer of 
all other Lodges, as a constituent member of the 
Grand Lodge, by authority of which it has been 
ushered into existence, and at once enters into the 
enjoyment of all the rights, powers and privileges of 
a just and duly-constituted Lodge. 


The powers and privileges of a Subordinate or 
Particular Lodge are such as are defined in its war- 
rant, by the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge grant- 
ing the same, and the Ancient Landmarks and Gen- 
eral Regulations. They are divided into — 

1. Executive : in the direction and performance of 
its work, under the control of its Master, and in all 
other matters in aid of the Master, who has the pri- 
mary executive power of a Lodge. 

2. Legislative : embracing all matters relating to 
its internal concerns, not in derogation of the Ancient 
Landmarks, the Constitutions and General Regula- 
tions of the Grand Lodge, and its own particular 
By-laws; and, 

3. Judicial: embracing the exercise of discipline, 
and settlement of controversies between and over all 
its members (except the Master), and over all Masons 



and non-affiliated brethren within its jurisdiction, 
subject to an appeal to the Grand Lodge.* 

From what has already been said, it will be seen 
that, while in the beginning, Lodges were unrestricted 
by any superior authority, and were therefore supreme 
in themselves ; yet, at the formation of Grand Lodges, 
certain of their powers were necessarily surrendered 
for the general good, just as individuals and commu- 
nities divest themselves of a portion of their political 
rights, that all may enjoy a uniform protection at the 
hands of a supreme government. The idea of the 
surrender of a portion of their rights by the Lodges, 
carries with it the reservation of certain others, inhe- 
rent in the Lodge, and not subject to dispensation 
or other act of the Grand Master or Grand Lodge. 
This is a most important distinction, and one that it 
is necessary to keep in remembrance in the decision 
of many of the questions that may be presented. 
The general tendency of all governments and legis- 
lative bodies is to cumulate power — to exercise not 
only the authority delegated to them by the people, 
but gradually to increase that authority by encroach- 
ments upon the original sovereignty. We believe in 
the simple doctrine that subordinate lodges are, as 
to many matters which have received the legislative 

Constitution, Grand Lodge of New York. 



action of Grand Lodges, sovereign bodies, and that 
any action which interferes with that sovereignty is 
of necessity illegal and void; and that, unless the 
reserved and inherent rights of Lodges are well de- 
fined and understood, the time will come when those 
rights will be extinguished, partly through direct 
legislation, and partly from the neglect, on the part 
of the subordinates, to assert and maintain them. 
The Lodge organization is the normal condition of 
the Fraternity ; Grand Lodges, the result of necessi- 
ty, growing out of the wide-spread popularity and 
extension of the institution, and intended to preserve 
uniformity of doctrine and practice by mutual con- 
sultation on the part of the representatives of the 
subordinate lodges. While each remains in its own 
sphere of action, the result must continue to be in 
the future, as it has been in the past, for the greatest 
good of the Craft. Let it, however, be remembered 
that the Grand Lodge acts by delegated powers, and 
that, so far as those powers are concerned, it must 
be supreme, but that the reserved powers of the 
Lodge are inherent, and cannot be interfered with by 
any act of the Grand Lodge ; nay, more : we insist 
that these powers cannot be delegated, if the Lodge 
were so minded ; for their possession by the subordi- 
nate body is a Landmark — a fundamental principle 
— that no man or body of men can remove. 



The powers of a Warranted Lodge may, therefore, 
be divided into two classes, Inherent and Constitu- 

The inherent powers of a Lodge, controlled only 
by the Ancient Landmarks, are : — 

1. To decide who shall be admitted members of or 
initiated therein ; that is, of persons properly qualified. 

2. To make Masons (not more than five at one 
meeting) of those it has decided to admit. 

3. To place on trial a member against whom 
charges may have been preferred, to pronounce sen- 
tence, and enforce discipline. 

4. To elect and install its officers. 

5. To fix its time of meeting. 

6. To require its members to contribute to its funds. 

7. To be represented at all communications of the 
Grand Lodge. 

8. To instruct its representatives, for their govern- 
ment, at all such communications of the Grand 

To our comprehension, these propositions are self- 
evident, and no lengthened commentary appears to 
be necessary. We direct attention to them, that it 
may be understood that no Grand Lodge legislation 
can alter their essential features. Eor example : it 
is usual and proper for Grand Lodges to fix, by con- 
stitutional provision, the time and manner of electing 



officers ; but, in the election, the Lodge is entirely 
uncontrolled, save by its own By-laws and the usages 
of Masonry. The Grand Lodge may say, that at a 
given time a Lodge must elect a Master, two Ward- 
ens, a Treasurer, and a Secretary, but it cannot inter- 
fere with the choice by the brethren of persons to fill 
those offices. So, the Grand Lodge may enact regu- 
lations for the government of Lodges in the trial of 
members, but it cannot deprive the Lodge of its right 
of original jurisdiction ; it may, on appeal, reverse a 
finding, and send the case back for a new trial, but 
it cannot, in legal phraseology, change the venue, or 
order the case to be tried elsewhere, without the con- 
sent of the Lodge. It cannot, by legislation, divest 
the Masters and Wardens of the Warranted Lodges 
in its jurisdiction of their right to represent their 
Lodges, or of the Lodges to be represented by their 
Masters and Wardens, in its annual or other commu- 
nications, because to do so would be, in effect, to 
destroy itself by destroying its members. Indeed, 
the existence of this right is the very essence of 
Grand Lodge organization, and carries with it the 
right of instruction, to be exercised by the Lodges, 
in their discretion. 

The constitutional powers of a Lodge, subject to 
control by the Grand Lodge, are : — 

1. To make a code of By-laws for its internal gov- 



emment, not in derogation of its inalienabie rights, 
or of those of its members. 

2. To perform all the work pertaining to the three 
degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry. 

8. To transact all business that can be legally 
transacted by a duly-constituted Lodge of Free- 

4. To appeal to the Grand Master or Grand Lodge 
from the decision of the presiding officer. 

5. To change its place of meeting. 

6. To control its funds. 

It would seem as though the right to form and 
adopt a code of By-laws should be an exercise of 
original sovereignty, but when we reflect that these 
By-laws must be made to conform to the regulations 
of the Grand Lodge under the jurisdiction of which 
the Lodge works, we discover at once that this is a 
right given up for the general benefit to the control 
of the Grand Lodge, which right is, however, rarely 
or never exercised by the grand body beyond the 
supervision necessary to ascertain that the Lodge is 
neither depriving itself of its just rights, nor assuming 
powers and prerogatives that do not belong to it. A 
lodge may, therefore, enact a code of By-laws, change, 
amend, or repeal the same, in accordance with the 
provisions therein contained, and subject to the ap- 
proval of the Grand Lodge, but for this reason it 



cannot suspend them, because a suspension is in 
reality an alteration or amendment, which is not valid 
without the approval of the Grand Lodge : hence, a 
motion to suspend a by-law is not in order. And, 
again, it might be asked, that if the Lodge has an 
inalienable right to make Masons, why it has not 
unlimited control over the work? The reason is, 
that the Grand Lodge, by the very nature of the case, 
must have superintendence of the work and lectures, 
in order to guard against the introduction of matters 
foreign to the original idea of Masonry, to prevent 
the inexperienced and the over-zealous from embel- 
lishing the ritual, which, if allowed to have their own 
way, they would do, and that to such an extent, that 
the original form would disappear. It is evident that 
the Grand Lodge, composed as it is of all the Masters 
and "Wardens in its jurisdiction, can better maintain 
and preserve the ritual from innovation, than any 
single lodge could do, however well the lodge might 
be disposed. Moreover, lodges in the beginning only 
conferred the first, or Entered Apprentice degree; 
the control of the ritual has, therefore, never been 
left entirely to their discretion. 

For similar reasons the business of the Lodge, as 
contra-distinguished from the ritualistic ceremonies, 
is necessarily subject to the supervision and control 
of the Grand Lodge. The retention of this right by 



the Grand Lodge is, if we may so term it, a portion 
of the contract, by which that body ceded to the sub- 
ordinates the right to confer the second and third 
degrees ; and this is why it is now held that Master 
Masons only can be members of a lodge, and that 
hence all the business of a lodge must be transacted 
in the third degree. The examination of candidates 
for advancement, and the trial of Entered Appren- 
tices and Fellow Crafts (see Trials) will necessarily 
form exceptions. 

The appeal to the Grand Lodge from the decision 
of the Master, or of the Warden presiding in his ab- 
sence, is evidently of no older date than the creation 
of the appellate body, and must, therefore, be gov- 
erned by the General Regulations. Fortunately, for 
the well-being and good discipline of the Fraternity, 
it is a right that is so seldom exercised, that it is only 
necessary to name its existence to have said all that 
is required on the subject. 

When Lodges met by authority of the civil magis- 
trates, they of course fixed their own time and place 
of meeting ; and as one meeting had no positive rela- 
tion to those preceding or succeeding it, the conve- 
nience of the brethren was the only governing rule ; 
but when Lodges came to meet under sanction of a 
Warrant, and thus entered upon a continued exist- 
ence, it became necessary that they should have a 



fixed locality, to prevent confusion among the lodges 
themselves, and to enable the Grand Lodge to lmow 
where to find its constituents ; hence the rule, that 
while a lodge, after due summons and vote of its 
members, may change its place of meeting from one 
locality to another, in the same city, town or village, 
it cannot remove from one city, town or village to 
another, without the sanction of the Grand Lodge. 

The lodge treasury, like the individual pocket, is 
extremely sensitive to interference, and Grand Lodges 
have wisely abstained from any attempt to exercise 
control over the funds of their subordinates, beyond 
requiring that they shall not be recklessly squander- 
ed, or divided among the members, while the just 
debts of the lodge remain unpaid, or while the Grand 
Lodge dues are unprovided for; but, these things 
taken care of, it has been decided that a lodge may 
appropriate its funds to a worthy object, even though 
it be not a strictly Masonic one. 


Lodges take precedence according to the seniority 
of their respective warrants — that is, Lodge No. 1 is 
necessarily of older date than Lodge No. 300, and, so 
far as the respect due to age and services goes, is 
entitled to all the consideration that may justly be 
accorded to age and long service. The senior lodges 



are also entitled, by their representatives, to fill tem- 
porarily any vacancies in the stations that may occur 
at a meeting of the Grand Lodge, and to take, accord- 
ing to number, the right of Masonic processions ; but 
beyond these comparatively unimportant privileges, 
there is no difference between the status of the oldest 
or youngest Lodge, except what each one may create 
for itself by attention to the Constitution and Regu- 
lations, the general usages of Masonry, and a proper 
attention to the selection of materiel and ^he rights 
of its peers. 

The jurisdiction of Lodges is of two kinds — ter- 
ritorial and penal : 

The territorial jurisdiction of a Lodge depends 
entirely upon the regulations enacted by the Grand 
Lodge to which it owes allegiance, and may be stated, 
in general terms, to extend half-way in every direc- 
tion to the nearest Lodge within the territorial juris- 
diction of the Grand Lodge. In cities and towns 
where there are two or more lodges, their jurisdiction 
is held to be in all respects concurrent. Jurisdiction, 
as here defined, relates entirely to the reception of 
profanes; for a Lodge retains jurisdiction over its 
members, without regard to their place of residence. 
This is another law growing out of the increase of 
Lodges, and is intended, by securing to each one a 
well-defined limit in wdiich to seek for material, to 



enable it to make a more thorough investigation into 
the character and standing of candidates, than it 
could otherwise* do, and, by preventing trespass on 
the territory of its neighbors, to insure a greater 
degree of harmony. This rule may, at first sight, 
appear to interfere with the right of Lodges to decide 
who shall be initiated therein, and to make Masons 
of those they have thus decided to admit; but a 
lodge can only entertain the petition of, or confer 
degrees on, a properly-qualified candidate ; and it is 
now held (except by the Grand Lodges of England 
and Hamburg) that a candidate is not properly qual- 
ified unless he has a fixed residence within the terri- 
torial jurisdiction of the Lodge to which he applies. 
Seafaring men, and military and naval officers, are 
excepted from this rule, because they are supposed, 
from the nature of their professions, not to be able 
to control their private actions so far as to be in any 
place long enough, at one time, to establish a resi- 
dence, in the legal acceptation of the term. Master 
Masons are excepted from this rule, because they 
have acquired all the rights and privileges of the 
Craft — one of which is, that every Mason may choose 
for himself the Lodge in which he can best work, and 
with the members of which he can best agree. 

The penal jurisdiction of a Lodge, by which is un- 
derstood the right of trial and the enforcement of 



discipline, other than that exercised over, its own 
members, (to which we shall give a separate consid- 
eration,) extends to all non-affiliated Masons in its 
jurisdiction, and to Masons belonging to lodges 
located in other jurisdictions, but who are personally 
within the jurisdiction of the disciplining lodge. 
This is a law of common justice, as well as one of 
ancient usage, but not of universal acceptance, — 
many authorities claiming that if a member of a 
lodge in Minnesota commit a Masonic offence in 
Yermont, he can only be tried by his mother-lodge ; 
but it is evident that the offender in Yermont might 
go on to any excess, and by his conduct bring unut- 
terable shame on the lodge and brethren for any 
length of time, before the lodge in Minnesota could 
be informed of it, or, if informed, could obtain the 
evidence necessary to a conviction; while, on the 
other hand, the lodge in Yermont, in whose very 
presence the offence might be said to be committed, 
would certainly be best prepared to administer cor- 
rection with a knowledge of the facts. Every Lodge 
and every Mason is bound to maintain to the utmost 
the good name and reputation of the Fraternity, and 
to this end all regular lodges are justified in sum- 
moning before them, for trial, those non-affiliated 
Masons and members of distant lodges who, forgetful 
of the solemn sanctions under which they entered 

8 G 


the Craft, violate its wholesome regulations, and thus 
bring disgrace upon it. The principle upon which 
this law is founded is coeval with the organization 
of Masonry as we have it. It is not only a Land- 
mark in itself, but a necessary sequence of other 
principles about which there is no difference of opin- 
ion ; thus, a Mason is required to be a peaceable 
citizen, wherever he resides or works, by which is 
understood that he is to conform to the law, respect 
the magistrates, and act as a good citizen should do, 
that the honor of the Fraternity may be thereby 
promoted, and the cavils of its adversaries answered. 
Now, if a Mason is thus required to demean himself 
in regard to the civil law, how can he be exempted 
from like provisions in the code of Masonry? Lodges 
are but the subdivisions of a universal family, for the 
convenience of the brethren ; the general reputation 
and prosperity of the whole is, therefore, of greater 
importance than the mere local interests or pride of a 
small part, and every Lodge is consequently a guard- 
ian — so to speak — of the general good name, with 
undoubted right, in the execution of its trust, to 
summon before it delinquent sojourners and n on- 
affiliated Masons, to place them on trial, and after 
lawful -conviction to administer discipline; subject, it 
need hardly be said, to an appeal to the Grand Lodge 
to which the disciplining lodge owes obedience. 


®j;t ©ffinrs fff a % 0&p. 


Haying thus far treated of the general powers of 
a Lodge, it is necessary to our plan that we should 
now introduce the officers, as a knowledge of their 
powers and duties is essential to a proper under- 
standing of various matters that will appear as we 

The discipline of a Masonic Lodge, the order ob- 
served at its meetings, the obedience there exacted, 
and cheerfully rendered on the part of the brethren, 
makes its government as nearly perfect as it is pos- 
sible for any merely human institution to be. It 
should, therefore, be — as in truth it generally is — a 
matter of study and just pride, on the part of the 
office-bearers, to be well acquainted with the general 
laws and usages of the society, as well as with their 
own powers, prerogatives and duties, that not only 
may they be enabled to keep the members in the 
straight path of duty, but that, by their own example, 
they may make that path more easily discernible, 
and less apt to be departed from. Intelligent and 



capable officers make good Lodges, and govern with 
less difficulty than ignorant and incompetent ones, 
because they do not overstep the bounds of proprie- 
ty, nor heedlessly invade the rights of the brethren ; 
and because all men — certainly all men fit to be 
Masons — appreciate the labors of such officers, and 
intuitively seek to assist them by prompt deference 
to their commands, and the influence which such 
conduct exercises over those — if any there be — less 
loyally inclined. 

The duties and prerogatives of the officers are 
always well defined, but it is none the less a fact 
that, in scarcely any two rites, are the officers and 
their functions precisely the same, and, indeed, our 
own country is not entirely uniform, although all 
Lodges in the United States work under the supervi- 
sion of Grand Lodges of what is termed the Ancient 
York Rite.* In some jurisdictions, they have an 

* We may be deemed heretical, but we cannot avoid saying, 
that, in our judgment, the name of York Bite , as applied to our 
system of degrees, is an absolute misnomer. Every ritualist who 
has investigated the subject knows, that the simplicity of the An- 
cient System has been buried, as it were, under the innovations 
of Webb and his successors in the business of ritual-making; that 
we have, in fact, a system peculiar to ourselves, which we ought 
to call, what it really is, “ The American Bite.” The reader will, 
of course, make the distinction between those who seek to create 
new rituals, and those who faithfully and earnestly teach what 
they have previously learned. 



officer called the Inner Guard ; in others, such an 
officer is unknown : some have Masters of Ceremonies ; 
others, not. In the beginning, the indispensable 
officers were the Master , Wardens and Tiler . The 
creation of new rites and other causes have, however, 
gradually led to the introduction of other officials, 
and a Lodge may now be said to be fully officered 
when it has — 

A Master, (whose style is Worshipful ,) 

A Senior Warden, 

A Junior Warden, 

A Treasurer, 

A Secretary, 

A Senior Deacon, 

A Junior Deacon, 

Two Stewards, or 

Two Masters of Ceremonies, 

A Tiler. 

In addition to these, many Lodges have a Chap- 
lain, some a Physician, others a Marshal, and most, 
if not all, a Board of Trustees. 


“ It was the observation of a wisdom greater than man 
can boast, that a house or kingdom divided against itself, 
cannot stand; and experience proves the soundness of the 
axiom. This proverb may be applied with great propriety 



to an institution whose members are segregated from the rest 
of the world by obligations, customs, and laws of a peculiar 
nature, yet retain their independence of character by a per- 
fect freedom of thought and action. In such a society, a 
judicious ruler is absolutely essential, not merely to its pros- 
perity, but to its very existence. If the shepherd be careless 
or inefficient, the flock will be scattered abroad. 

“Unity is the mainspring of Freemasonry. Destroy that, 
and the machinery will fall in pieces; and it will be a difficult 
matter to preserve the links in the chain of unity unbroken, 
unless the Master pursue an accommodating policy, which 
may cause the brethren to be mutually pleased with each 
other’s society, accompanied by an inflexible regard to disci- 
pline, which, while it allows freedom of action, will preserve 
inviolable the respectful submission that is due the Chair, as 
its undoubted and inalienable prerogative.”* 

“To become Master of his Lodge, is the legitimate object 
of every young brother who takes any interest in our society. 
The very questionable policy of our present regulations seems 
to be, to open to each, in succession, the way to the Master- 
ship — almost, if not altogether, as a matter of course. Now, 
my younger brethren may rest assured, that although, in 
deference to a usage which it is perhaps too late to abolish, 
we may place a careless or ignorant Mason in the Chair, 
invest him with the badge of authority, and address him 
with the external forms of respect, we cannot command for 
him the deference and consideration which will be sure to 
follow the enlightened and expert. He will be like the figure- 

♦ “Revelations of a Square.” — O lives. 



head of a ship — placed foremost, and gaudily decorated; but, 
after all, it is a mere effigy, not contributing in the least to 
the management of the vessel. In small, as in great things, 
knowledge is power — intellectual superiority is real pre-emi- 

“ Some inexperienced brethren may think that no difficulty 
can ever arise in the decision of Masonic questions, because 
they have never seen any such difficulty in our society. It 
is true, that mutual forbearance is so much inculcated, and 
good feeling so widely prevails among us, that, in the hands 
of a judicious ruler, all goes on with easy and undeviating 
regularity. But I can assure them that, in a well-regulated 
Lodge, there is a very ample scope for the exercise of intel- 
lect; and that the Master will soon find that he requires 
even more than a knowledge of Masonic law and usages, to 
acquit himself creditably of his responsibility. He should 
know his own limits, so as not to encroach upon the rights 
of the brethren, of which, I candidly warn every young Mas- 
ter, he will find us not a little jealous. If he falls short of 
his own bounds, or oversteps them, he will find clear heads 
and keen tongues to remind him — respectfully, but unmis- 
takably — of the fact. The Lodge will soon feel what sort 
of hand holds the helm; and as they are bound to acquiesce 
in his opinion, as their Master, he must show equal deference 
to theirs.”* 

“In the whole series of offices recognized by the Masonic 
institution, there is not one more important than that of the 

* “The Duty of the Master,” a Lecture, by J. Fitz-Henby 
Townsend. — American Quarterly Review of Freemasonry , vol. i. 



Master of a Lodge. Upon the skill, integrity and prudence 
of the presiding officer, depend the usefulness and welfare of 
the Lodge, and as lodges are the primary assemblages of the 
Craft, and by representation constitute the supreme tribunal 
or Grand Lodge, it is evident that the errors of government 
in the primary bodies must, if not duly corrected, be pro- 
ductive of evil to the whole fraternity. Hence, in the cere- 
mony of Installation, it was required, as a necessary qualifi- 
cation of him who was proposed to the Grand Master as the 
presiding officer of a Lodge, that he should be of good 
morals, of great skill, true and trusty, and a lover of the 
whole fraternity, wheresoever dispersed over the face of the 
earth. And it was on such a recommendation, that it was 
to be presumed that he would discharge the duties of the 
office with fidelity.”* 

To the foregoing qualifications of the Master, which 
are general in their nature, there is to be added the 
legal one, that he shall have previously been installed 
and served as Warden — not necessarily in the Lodge 
which proposes to elect him, but, at all events, in 
some regular Lodge. As considerable difference of 
opinion exists in regard to this question, we propose 
to give it a brief examination. The original law upon 
the subject is found in the fourth of the Ancient 
Charges. In this Charge it is stated, “ That all pre- 
ferment among Masons is grounded upon real v orth 

Text-book of Masonic Jurisprudence.” — Mackey. 



and personal merit only;” that “none but a perfect 
youth should be made an Apprentice, that in due time 
he may become a Fellow Craft, and when otherwise 
qualified, arrive at the honor of being Warden, and 
then Master of the Lodge.” * * * * “No brother 
can be a Warden until he has passed the part of a 
Fellow Craft ; nor a Master till he has acted as Ward- 
en.” — To our comprehension, and, we may add, to 
that of a large majority of the Fraternity, this law 
is so explicit, as not to admit of any fair argument 
against the requirement which so plainly appears in 
its language — that a brother must be a Warden be- 
fore he can be Master. We have seen much ingeni- 
ous argument to prove that; as all preferment among 
Masons depends on personal merit, such merit must 
be the governing rule in the selection of the Master, 
as well as other officers; but it will be seen that 
“real worth and personal merit” are the groundwork 
only of preferment, and they neither include nor, by 
a reasonable deduction, forbid the necessity of other 
qualifications. As a basis of preferment, we cheer- 
fully acknowledge personal merit to be indispensable, 
and regard it as one of the most satisfactory features 
of the Masonic institution — as one that especially 
distinguishes it from the associations of the profane 
world ; but to make this the only test, would be to 
sweep away, as with a breath, other distinguishing 



and valuable characteristics of the Fraternity. If 
the personally meritorious were all eligible to the 
mastership, the Master Mason of a day might aspire 
to the chief command, as well as the veteran of half 
a century, and thus our lodges would become so many 
arenas for the exhibition of the chicanery and tricks 
of partisan politics, while the experience and educa- 
tion necessary to fit even the truly meritorious for so 
difficult a trust as that of Master of a Lodge, would 
at once be left out of the account. Fortunately, for 
the stability of the Craft, the advocates of such a 
theory are few and far between. The Charge itself 
is the best refutation, if any were needed, of the argu- 
ment under consideration ; for it plainly contemplates 
the gradual arrival of the aspirant to the goal of his 
ambition : — the Apprentice is to become a Fellow 
Craft in due time, and when he has served such a 
term of years as the custom of the country directs, 
and is otherwise qualified , he may arrive to the honor 
of being Warden, and then Master. In the words 
“otherwise qualified,” something beside “personal 
merit” is clearly provided for and intended. 

There is another, and somewhat more numerous, 
class, who claim that, under certain circumstances, a 
Lodge may proceed to elect to the mastership any 
member of the Lodge, even though he may never 
have been Warden. We have seen a report, adopted 



by a Grand Lodge, in which it is gravely argued 
that “ acting as Warden” is merely a ceremonial ob- 
servance, and has no further effect than to require 
that the candidate should have temporarily occupied 
the Warden’s station during the conferring of a de- 
gree. We cannot fully expose the fallacy of this 
position without trenching on matters not proper to 
be written ; but every Master Mason knows, or ought 
to know, that there were three Grand Masters, neither 
of whom was Warden — the duties of that station being 
confided to the “ Overseers of the work,” and, there- 
fore, that the ceremony referred to is without the 
quality of common sense. “ Acting as Warden” 
means to have been lawfully appointed to that station, 
and to have discharged the duties that pertain to it. 

In Anderson’s second edition of the Constitutions, 
published in 1738, he makes two very important 
changes in the Begulation in regard to the qualifica- 
tions of the Master. The first is simply explanatory, 
by the addition of the word “ somewhere that is, 
that a brother should have been Warden somewhere, 
but not necessarily in the Lodge in which he was to 
be elected Master. The second overthrows the whole, 
by the addition of these words : “ except in extraor- 
dinary cases, or when a Lodge is to be formed where 
none such (Past Masters or Wardens) can be had ; 
for then three Master Masons, though never Masters 



or Wardens of Lodges before, may be constituted 
Master and Wardens of that new Lodge.” If, as 
stated in the title, the Constitutions of 1721 were the 
“ Laws, Charges, Orders, Regulations and Usages of 
the Right Worshipful Fraternity of Accepted Free- 
masons,” and were collected “ from their general 
records and their faithful traditions of many ages,” 
then he had no authority whatever to alter them in 
1738, nor could the Grand Lodge of England, if they 
had been faithful to their trust, have sanctioned any 
such alteration. The Constitutions of 1721 were 
either correct or they were not : if correct, they were 
the usages of “ many ages ;” and that they were so, 
seems to follow from the fact of their approval and 
authorized publication by the Grand Lodge. And, 
although it is provided, in the thirty-ninth General 
Regulation, “that every Annual Grand Lodge has 
inherent power and authority to make new regulations 
or to alter these, for the real benefit of this Ancient 
Fraternity,” it is clear that this only refers to local 
regulations; for it is expressly declared that such 
new regulations can only be made or the old ones 
changed on condition “that the old landmarks he care- 
fully preserved .” The requirement that a Master 
must previously have been a Warden, we are told 
was the usage of many ages, and the conclusion is 
irresistible that there was no power in any body of 


men to make an innovation by changing it. “ But ” 
— we shall here be told — “ yon admit that any Master 
Mason may be appointed Master of a new Lodge, or, 
as we have it, a Lodge under Dispensation.” We 
admit the fact, but we deny the principle, for one 
proposition carries the other with it ; and if the Grand 
Master can, under the regulations of his Grand Lodge, 
appoint any member to be Master of a new Lodge, 
by the same authority he might grant his Dispensa- 
tion to elect a member from the floor of a Warranted 
Lodge, and thus the English practice of removing a 
landmark would be fully established. If, however, 
we admit that the Grand Lodge of England had 
power to change the Regulation of 1721, in regard 
to the qualifications of Masters, then we must also 
grant to every other Grand Lodge a similar authori- 
ty, and thus make the subject one of local legislation. 
Such is, indeed, its present condition. The right of 
the Grand Master to appoint any Master Mason to 
the mastership of a Lodge under Dispensation is 
universally conceded. The Grand Lodge of New 
York makes this exception, but otherwise maintains 
the rule in its ancient form. Section 38 of its Con- 
stitution is in these words : — “ No member can be 
Master of a Lodge, unless he has been previously 
installed, and served as an elected Warden for one 
year, except at the institution of a new Lodge, when 


no Warden or Past Master is found to serve as Mas- 
ter.” With one or two exceptions, we believe, every 
Grand Lodge in the United States has a similar pro- 
vision in its Constitution ; and while, therefore, the 
principle remains as we have stated it, the practice 
must be governed by the regulations of the Grand 
Lodge having jurisdiction. 

We now pass to the consideration of the preroga- 
tives of the Master, which are : — 

1. The right to congregate his Lodge . — The law for 
this is found in the second of the Regulations of 1721, 
but some explanation seems to be necessary to its 
proper understanding. There are two meanings at- 
tached to the word congregate , one of which is the 
ordinary acceptation, meaning the calling together 
of the brethren, at a time and place named, for the 
purpose of holding a meeting; and the other, the 
Masonic one, referring to the ceremony by which the 
Master calls the brethren to order, when so assem- 
bled, for the purpose of setting them at labor in a 
formed lodge. It is an immemorial usage — and, 
therefore, a landmark — that none but the Master 
(when he is present) can congregate the brethren,* 
although the formal ceremony of opening may be 
performed by another brother in his presence and 
under his direction. Under this prerogative, the 

* In the second sense of the word. See Prerogative 9. 



Master may call or summon a meeting of his lodge 
at any time he thinks proper ; but, though in former 
times he could call it at any time or place , his power 
in this respect is now restricted, under the regula- 
tions of Grand Lodges, to the calling of special com- 
munications at the place usually occupied by the 
Lodge ; at which special communications no business 
can be transacted, save that for which the meeting 
is called ; and, further, that no business relative to 
the presentation of petitions for initiations or adjoin- 
ing, or a ballot on such petitions, can be had at a 
called meeting. The stated communications are fixed 
by the Lodge itself, as well as the place where they 
are to be held ; and though the Master may, if he 
please, summon the members for any meeting, he 
cannot alter the time or place of the stated ones, 
because he has agreed to observe the By-laws, and 
to stand to the awards of the brethren, so far as they 
do not interfere with his admitted prerogatives. 

2. The right to preside . — This is a self-evident 
proposition, and follows as a natural consequence of 
his installation : but there is this peculiarity attach- 
ing to the Master of a Masonic Lodge, viz : that once 
duly installed, he cannot during his term of office be 
deprived of his right to preside by any power residing 
in the Lodge itself. By the terms of his covenant at 
installation, he is bound “to pay homage to the 



Grand Master for the time being, and to his officers, 
when duly installed hence, when the Grand Master 
or his Deputy, or other duly-appointed representa- 
tive, appears in a Lodge, the power of the Master to 
preside temporarily disappears, unless the superior 
authority waive the right thus vesting in him, a court- 
esy which, it is perhaps needless to say, is almost 
universally exercised. From this right of the Master 
ensue others, intimately connected with it, as 

3. The right to fill , temporarily , any vacancies that 
may occur in the Lodge Offices . — It is his duty to set 
the Craft at labor, and, in order to do so, he needs 
the active cooperation of all the other officers ; and 
it is, therefore, necessary to the proper execution of 
his trust that he should have full power to select from 
the brethren present such as he deems competent to 
discharge the functions of the absent incumbents. 

4. To control the admission of visitors. — It is, be- 
yond question, that one of the most important duties 
of a faithful Master is the preservation of harmony 
among the brethren by the exercise of sleepless vigi- 
lance against the admission of cowans, or of those 
brethren who, if admitted, would by their presence 
disturb the peace of the Lodge and hinder its work. 
In the exercise of this right, therefore, the Master 
may refuse admission to any visitor, however correct 
the standing of the visitor may be, he being respon- 

t 10R A, 

or THt 





sible for the exercise of his prerogative. For a simi- 
lar reason, it is the general practice of the Master — 
though not absolutely bound to do so — to refuse a 
visitor when any member of the Lodge objects to his 
visit. It is held that he may even go farther, and 
refuse a member of his own Lodge, subject of course 
to the penalties that would follow an abuse of that 
power. As an abstract proposition, this is probably 
correct ; yet it is hedged round with so many diffi- 
culties, and treads so close upon the right accorded 
to every member in good standing, to participate in 
the work of his Lodge, that we cannot but advise 
that it should never be exercised, or, at least, only in 
such flagrant cases as would demand a similar action 
on the part of the Lodge, if the power were not 
already vested in the Master. We are all liable to 
error, and but few men are exempt from the influence 
of a momentary pique, or the impulse of sudden pas- 
sion. At such a time, the compasses lose their power, 
and we become liable to do that which, in our cooler 
moments, we might sincerely regret. It should also 
be remembered that a member so refused, has an 
appeal to the Grand Master or Grand Lodge, and, 
if unjustly dealt with, may even prefer charges ; in 
which case, the trouble ensuing would more than 
counterbalance any good expected to result from the 



5. To regulate and terminate all discussion . — The 
distinction between the Master of a Masonic Lodge 
and the presiding officer of any other association, 
is no where more strikingly exemplified than in the 
exercise of this prerogative. While, in other socie- 
ties, the president — or whatever title he may assume 
— presides, in our Lodges, the Master rules and gov - 
erns. In the execution of his trust, he wields auto- 
cratic powers, and, for the time being, the Lodge 
must obey. Hence, when in his judgment the debate 
has extended far enough, or when it is degenerating 
into criminations and personalities — as unfortunately 
will sometimes occur — he rises in his place, and the 
floor is his; he proceeds to put the question, if a 
question be pending, or to direct the labors in some 
other channel. 

6. To direct the order of business. — It has become 
a custom, of late years, for lodges to append to their 
By-laws a summary of the order in which business 
shall be transacted at the stated communications, 
and Masters are gradually falling into the habit of its 
use, on the ground of convenience. It is very dis- 
tinctly within our recollection when no such thing 
was known — at least, not to our knowledge — and we 
have always protested against it during the years of 
our mastership by paying no attention to any such 
rules. If a Master is competent to fill the station he 



occupies, lie ought to be, and is, the best judge of 
what to do and when to do it. Every Master should 
assert this power, as a standing protest against the 
innovations which are gradually, but surely, making 
their way among us. 

7. To appoint all Committees . — Being responsible 
for the proper conduct of the affairs of the Lodge, it 
is but just that the Master should have the selection 
of the committees. If such were not the case, the 
Master would, to that extent, be under the direction 
of the Lodge, a position in which he can never be 
lawfully placed. The Master is considered, by virtue 
of his office, a member of all committees, and when 
he chooses to attend their deliberations, the deference 
due to his position makes him Chairman. The right 
is, however, seldom exercised, and in some cases — as 
the committee to try charges against a brother — ought 
not to be at all. He has also generally the appoint- 
ment of such of the subordinate officers as are not 
elected under the By-laws ; this, however, is not an 
irrevocable right, for the custom has varied at differ- 
ent periods and in different jurisdictions. Thus, in 
England, he appoints the Wardens, and they in turn 
appoint officers of lower grade than themselves ; in 
some jurisdictions, the Lodge elects all the officers ; 
in others, the Master appoints all below the Secretary. 

8. To close the Lodge at will . — By this it is not 



assumed that the Master may close his Lodge in the 
midst of its labors at the mere suggestion of his own 
arbitrary will, for that would be intolerable ; but that 
he is the proper judge as to when the labors ought 
reasonably to cease, and the brethren retire to their 
several homes. Perhaps no single objection against 
Masonic Lodges has been urged wdth greater force 
than that which has for its theme the detention of the 
brethren to an unreasonable hour of the night. The 
world is all too apt to believe whatever may be stated 
to the prejudice of our society, and it would be diffi- 
cult to furnish an argument likely to be more indus- 
triously used against us, than the unfortunate habit 
many lodges have contracted of protracting their 
meetings to unreasonable hours. Married men owe 
it to their families, and single ones to their reputa- 
tions, to be at home before midnight ; and it is well 
that Masters should recollect their prerogative, and 
exercise it by closing their Lodges at such an hour 
as will enable the brethren to be at home in good 
season. Cases may arise, in which it is the bounden 
duty of the Master to close his Lodge summarily, 
and in such an event, there is no question as to his 
authority so to do. In all well-governed Lodges, 
however, the occurrence of such a scene would be 
next to an impossibility. 

It has been, and is still held to be, a prerogative 



of the Master to open his Lodge at the hour he 
thinks appropriate ; but while we do not dispute the 
fact, we think he may be safely admitted to have 
waived this in favor of the Lodge, to secure the at- 
tendance of the brethren at a fixed time, in order 
that all may know what to depend upon ; and that 
no unfair advantage may be taken of the presence of 
certain brethren, or the absence of others, to bring 
forward or keep back a favorite measure. 

9. To issue summons . — "W e have already alluded to 
this power in the first-mentioned prerogative of the 
Master, but only as to meetings, the topic then under 
consideration. He has, however, power to summon 
for various purposes, in addition to meetings: as, 
witnesses in trials ; all Masons within the jurisdiction 
of his Lodge, to answer complaints against them ; 
the officers of his Lodge, to render their accounts 
or to answer for delinquencies ; the members of his 
Lodge, to attend the funeral of a deceased brother. 
The summons can be issued by authority of the 
Master only, while he remains in the discharge of his 
functions, and is a peremptory order, which must be 
obeyed, under penalty, unless the excuse of the de- 
faulter be of the most undeniable validity. A sum- 
mons is usually in writing, signed by the Master, 
countersigned by the Secretary, and having the Lodge 
seal attached ; but there is no doubt that a verbal 



summons by the Master is equally binding with a 
written one. 

10. To be the custodian of the Warrant . — Although 
the Warrant purports on its face to be granted to the 
Master and Wardens, yet, at his installation, it is 
placed in special charge of the Master, and he is 
made responsible for its safe keeping. As, under the 
present organization of the Fraternity, no Lodge can 
be established without a Warrant, and as its pres- 
ence is necessary to the legality of all meetings, it 
follows that the powers of the Master can only be 
exercised under its sanction ; and it is, therefore, but 
just that he should, at all times, be in possession of 
the evidence of his authority. There is, in many 
cases, a w T ant of care, on the part of Masters, in re- 
gard to this important document. W e have frequently 
seen it framed, and hung up in the Lodge-room ; in 
other cases, we have known it to be regularly com- 
mitted to the keeping of the Tiler at the close of the 
meeting, and sometimes it is put away in a package 
with the Secretary’s books — all of which practices 
appear to us extremely reprehensible. It is delivered 
to the Master in person, and it ought to remain in 
his personal custody. It is true, that even then an 
accident might happen ; but, in that event, there 
would remain the satisfaction of knowing that the 
duty of personal care had been fully dischai ged. In 



case of loss of the Warrant — by fire, for instance — it 
is a simple matter for the Grand Lodge to issue a 
new one, equally valid, in a legal point of view, with 
the original, but it would only be a duplicate ; and 
when, as is not uncommon, all the original signers 
have passed away, the loss is irreparable, nor will the 
regret attending it be lessened by the reflection that 
carelessness may be cited as its moving cause. 

Under certain circumstances, the custody of the 
Warrant passes to the Wardens, as will be seen when 
we come to speak of those officers. 

11. In company ivith the Senior and Junior Ward- 
ens , to represent Ms Lodge at alt communications of the 
Grand Lodge. — While it must be admitted that this 
is a right, which came into existence at the establish- 
ment of a Grand Lodge, after the revival of Masonry 
in 1717, it is none the less, now, inalienable. We see 
in the Kegulations of 1721 that it is provided, that 
“ the Grand Lodge consists of, and is formed by, the 
Master and Wardens of all the regular particular 
Lodges upon record.” And, again, “ the majority of 
every particular Lodge, when congregated, shall have 
the privilege of giving instructions to their Master 
and Wardens before the assembling of the Grand 
Lodge — ***** because their Master and 
Wardens are their representatives, and are supposed 
to speak their mind.” From this it follows, that with- 



out the representatives of the subordinate or particu- 
lar Lodges, there is no Grand Lodge; and as no 
legislation can be effected without their consent, it is 
not to be supposed they will disfranchise themselves. 
By the terms of his installation, and as the executive 
of the Lodge will, the Master is especially charged 
with the duty of representation. 

In the exercise of these prerogatives, other and 
correlative exhibitions of authority are sometimes 
called forth ; as 

The control of the minutes, so far as to see that 
nothing improper to be written is recorded ; and, on 
the other hand, that nothing essential to a fair record 
of the proceedings is omitted. 

The right to refuse to initiate a candidate, notwith- 
standing his acceptance by the Lodge, if, in his judg- 
ment, such initiation would be improper. 

The right, when the first ballot for a candidate 
appears to be unfavorable, to order a second — he 
taking care that the necessary cautions be observed, 
and that the re-balloting be done before any brother 
participating in the first ballot has left the Lodge. 

The right to discuss all questions, without regard 
to the parliamentary etiquette of leaving the Chair, 
because it is his duty, at all times, to give the Craft 
good and wholesome instruction; in any remarks, 
therefore, which he may be pleased to make, he 



is presumed to act for the best interests of the 

He signs all drafts upon the Treasurer, without 
which, that officer would not be justified in paying 
out the Lodge funds. 

He is exempt from trial by the Lodge. This pro- 
position is a legitimate sequence of his official pre- 
rogatives. We have seen that he has the right to 
preside at all times, and to decide, without the possi- 
bility of an appeal being taken from his decision to 
that of the Lodge. If, therefore, a motion should be 
offered to put him on trial, he might refuse to enter- 
tain it ; and, even worse, he might, if his trial were 
allowed in the Lodge, be called to sit as judge in his 
own case ; for the Lodge cannot deprive him of his 
right to preside. He has the right to appoint all 
committees : in selecting one before which his trial 
should be had, (where that mode of trial is adopted,) 
he would, of course, select his personal friends, and 
use his influence with them to secure an acquittal. 
It is, therefore, held that some tribunal, other than 
the Lodge, shall be charged with the trial of the 
Master, and that tribunal is, by universal consent, 
the Grand Lodge. 

He is entitled, and required to receive the degree 
of Past Master previous to his installation, because 
it is an indispensable part of that ceremony ; without 



the possession of which lie could not lawfully preside, 
and by which he is furnished with instruction for his 
guidance while occupying the Chair. 

He cannot dimit or resign during his term of office, 
because he has entered into a solemn covenant to 
discharge the duties of Master for one year from the 
time of his election, which is in itself a promise that 
he will not resign. If he cannot resign, he cannot 
dimit; because, if allowed to withdraw, he might 
affiliate with another Lodge, and thus be Master of 
one while a member of another, an argument which 
requires no refutation. 

No vacancy can occur in his office, except by death 
or expulsion. The Constitution of New York pro- 
vides another cause, by “ removal beyond the juris- 
diction,” which, with all deference to our mother 
Grand Lodge, we think untenable, for this reason : — 
It is universally conceded that a Master Mason ought 
to belong to a Lodge, and that it is his right to affil- 
iate with the one that suits him, without regard to 
its location or his residence ; or, to make the matter 
plainer, that a Master Mason residing in New Or- 
leans, may, if he choose, affiliate with a Lodge in 
Boston, if the Lodge think proper to affiliate him. 
This being true, it follows that removal beyond the 
jurisdiction does not affect the membership of the 
Master ; and while he continues a member in good 



standing, his right to the office in which he has been 
installed remains indefeasible. 

Where a vacancy actually occurs by death or ex- 
pulsion, it is generally held that the Grand Master 
may issue his dispensation, authorizing a new election 
to fill the vacancy thus created. From this proposi- 
tion we also dissent, because it is the admitted pre- 
rogative of the Senior Warden, in the event of such 
vacancy, to succeed to the Chair, and, in his absence, 
the Junior Warden succeeds by immemorial right — a 
right which even the edict of the Grand Master can- 
not abrogate. If, however, all three offices are vacant, 
it would then be proper to hold a new election, under 
authority of the Grand Master, but not otherwise. 

The conclusion to which the young Mason, after 
reading this summary of the powers of the Master, 
will naturally arrive is, that he is a perfect despot ; 
and so, in one sense, he is — in the Lodge. But the 
masonic system is amply provided with what, in diplo- 
matic language, are called “ checks and balances 
and for every power intrusted to and exercised by the 
Master, there is a corresponding responsibility. If 
he err — as Masters, being but men, will sometimes 
do — there is the superior power of the Grand Master 
to correct his error, and restore the status quo. His 
powers are a peculiarity of the institution, and cannot 
be changed without altering its entire character, which 



no one can do, if any were so inclined. Among us 
the possession of these powers seems to render the 
heedless careful, and the careful, conservative ; and 
while the brethren render due obedience, carefully 
observing the statutes and regulations, there is noth- 
ing to fear from the exercise of arbitrary powers on 
the part of the Master. Finally, to again quote Bro- 
ther Townsend, “We have seen that the brethren 
must, in all lawful things, obey their Master. He, on 
his part, should have no object but the advantage, 
welfare and comfort of his brethren. We may teach 
him our forms, explain to him their meaning, stimu- 
late his ambition to discharge his duties creditably ; 
but, after all, we must leave him to look within his 
own heart for instruction, and to be guided by his 
own good sense and good feeling in his general con- 
duct. But, although particular rules will not avail 
to supply the want of good sense and discretion, yet 
there are two general maxims, of which the Master 
should never lose sight : — First, to be serious ; sec- 
ondly, to be strict in observing what are called the 
Landmarks of the Craft.” 


Though perhaps somewhat in the nature of an 
interpolation, this appears to be the proper place to 
call attention to the status of Past Masters. It has 



been well said, that “ Past officers have no powers as 
such, except the respect due to their standing, skill 
and experience, save what is expressly given them 
by the Constitutions of their Grand Lodges,” — al- 
though it is but partially true. When a Master has 
arrived at the end of his official term, and has installed 
his successor, he loses all the rights which, as an 
actual Master, he had been exercising, and becomes 
again the peer of the brethren, subject, like them, to 
be ruled and governed by the new Master ; but by 
the very fact of having been installed, and having 
served as Master, certain privileges inure to him, 
which are not possessed by any brother who has not 
attained to that rank. Thus, in the fourth of the 
Ancient Charges, it is provided that “no brother can 
be a Grand Warden till he has been Master of a 
Lodge and that “ the Grand Master has power to 
choose his Deputy, who must be then, or must have 
been, the Master of a particular Lodge.” The Grand 
Master himself is only required to have been a Fellow 
Craft ; but in the many changes which these Charges 
have since undergone, it has come to be required that 
the Grand Master also shall have been Master of a 
Lodge. It is clear that, under the present regulations 
of the Fraternity, he must be at least a Master Mason ; 
but we do not hazard anything in saying, that no 
Grand Lodge would now elect a Grand Master who 



had not previously acquired the experience of at least 
one term as Master of a Lodge. Therefore, we say 
that it is a privilege of a Past Master to be eligible 
to office in the Grand Lodge. In all Grand Lodges 
it is the rule that Lodges may be represented by 
proxy when the actual officers are absent : in about 
half of them, any Master Mason in good standing, 
and a member of the Lodge he represents, can be 
such proxy ; in the others, he is required to be a Past 
Master. As a general rule, we think that in all cases 
a Past Master would have the preference. 

A Past Master is qualified to install any Master 
elect , when requested to do so, and to be present at 
the qualification of a Master elected to the Chair for 
the first time.* We may here digress a moment, to 
say that, although some authorities declare that a 
virtual or Chapter Past Master may be present, and 
assist at such qualification, we entirely dissent from 
the assertion. The degree of Past Master, as con- 
ferred in a Chapter, is a prerequisite to the reception 
of the next higher grade, and can only be conferred 
on those who have received the preceding or Mark 
Master's degree , a qualification not necessarily pos- 
sessed by the Master elect, who is about to be quali- 
fied for installation, by the reception of the Past Mas- 
ter's degree. In one «ase, it is merely a ceremonial 

* See Elections. 



qualification for a higher degree ; in the other, it is 
part of the installation, by which the Master is in- 
vested with power to govern an actual Lodge. Again, 
it is the year of service in the Chair that makes him 
a Past Master, and not the degree ; while in the Chap- 
ter it is the degree, without any service whatever. 
The cases are not parallel : one has earned his posi- 
tion ; the other, has simply paid for a title. There is 
no reason, in Masonry or equity, why their privileges 
should be equal. 

When the Grand Master is unable to attend to any 
duty requiring his presence at a distance from his 
home, he selects a proxy to act for him, and always, 
when possible to do so, the Master or Past Master of 
a Lodge. The same rule governs in the appointed 
officers of a Grand Lodge. 

A Past Master is always eligible to reelection with- 
out further service as Warden, either in the Lodge 
in which he originally served or in any other to 
which he may attach himself. 

As a matter of courtesy, he is invited to a seat in 
the East, that he may aid the acting Master with his 
counsel, should it be needed in conducting the busi- 
ness of the Lodge. 

Much argument has been had as to the right of a 
Past Master to a seat in his Grand Lodge, by virtue 
of his service in the Chair, and for some years the 



Fraternity of New York were literally convulsed by 
the troubles arising from this source. The real ques- 
tion at issue, however, was not as to whether all Past 
Masters were entitled to life membership in the Grand 
Lodge, but whether those who had acquired that 
privilege under a law existing from the very founda- 
tion of the Grand Lodge, could be deprived of it by 
an enactment ex post facto in its nature and applica- 
tion. After long discussion, it was finally agreed, 
that while the Grand Lodge might amend its Consti- 
tution, so as to exclude all future Past Masters, it 
could not in equity take away rights which had been 
constitutionally acquired. With this agreement, the 
troubles in the Craft disappeared, as if by magic, and 
the Fraternity, again united, has ever since flourished 
as it never flourished before. There are still, we be- 
lieve, one or two Grand Lodges where Past Masters' 
are entitled to seats as such ; but the general sense 
of the brethren appears now to be, that they have no 
privileges but those we have here enumerated. 


In every just and duly-constituted Lodge of Free- 
masons are two officers, styled respectively the Senior 
and Junior Warden. Second only in importance to 
the Master, a proper understanding and performance 
of their duties is essential to the welfare of the body. 



Doctor Oliver very happily terms them Deputy Mas- 
ters; such in reality they are. During the business 
of the Lodge, and in what is technically termed the 
worhy they are particularly called upon to assist in 
the preservation of order, and in the due performance 
of the ritual ; and in case of the death, absence, or 
inability of the Master, they are authorized and re- 
quired, in turn — that is, first the Senior Warden, and, 
in his absence, the Junior Warden — to succeed to all 
his powers and prerogatives, for the time being. We 
use the word all advisedly, because we have frequently 
heard it urged that the Warden, presiding in the ab- 
sence of the Master, cannot confer degrees, partly 
because he has not received the degree of Past Mas- 
ter, and partly because the Regulations of 1721 pro- 
vide that, in the absence of the Master, his power 
reverts to the last Past Master. We cannot write all 
that might be said in relation to the degree of Past 
Master, but it will answer our present purpose to say, 
that its reception is as much necessary to make a 
Master, as it is that he should have previously served 
a term as Warden, and that he should assent, in the 
presence of the brethren, to the questions put to him 
at his installation. Hence, though a brother should 
serve as Warden twenty years, and should all that 
time act as Master, he would not be Master de facto , 
nor at the close of that term be a Past Master, without 



a regular election and installation as such, which 
would include the degree in question. The degree, 
then, is an absolute necessity to him who would be 
Master, but not to a Warden temporarily called upon 
to assume a contingency of his office. 

The regulation referred to was evidently inserted 
in the code by mistake, as it contains within itself a 
flat contradiction of terms: for though it provides 
that “the absent Master’s authority reverts to the 
last Master then present,” yet it goes on to say, “he 
cannot act until the said Senior Warden has once 
congregated the Lodge, or, in his absence, the Junior 
Warden.” Dr. Mackey remarks on this question : — 

“ The regulation is, however, contradictory in its provisions; 
for if the ‘last Master present 1 could not act — that is, could 
not exercise the authority of the Master, until the Senior 
Warden had congregated the Lodge — then it is evident that 
the authority of the Master did not revert to him in an 
unqualified sense; for that officer required no such concert or 
consent on the part of the Warden, but could congregate 
the Lodge himself. 

“ This evident contradiction in the language of the regula- 
tion probably caused, in a brief period, a further examination 
of the ancient usage; and accordingly, on the 25th of No- 
vember, 1128, a very little more than three years after, the 
following regulation was adopted: 

“ * If a Master of a particular Lodge is deposed or dimits, 
the Senior Warden shall forthwith fill the Master’s chair till 



the next time of choosing; and ever since, in the Master’s 
absence, he fills the Chair, even though a former Master be 
present.’ ”* 

But, admitting the Regulation of 1721 to be still in 
force, it is evident that the real power in the premises 
is vested in the Warden : for if he refuse to “ congre- 
gate” the Lodge, then the Past Master would be 
powerless to do so, and would be without any Lodge 
to preside over. Such, except in England, is now 
the general sense of the Fraternity, and we therefore 
state, as the prerogatives of the Wardens : — 

1. The right to assume the Chair in the absence 
of the Master, and to exercise, while so occupying it, 
all the powers that might of right be exercised by 
him, if personally present. 

2. The right to represent the Lodge, in company 
with the Master, at all communications of the Grand 
Lodge. The same reasons apply here as in the case 
of the Master. They are a constituent part of the 
Grand Lodge, and it is their right, as well as duty, 
to be present at its communications. It is the prac- 
tice in the Grand Lodge of New York, and we pre- 
sume in those of other States, for either of the three 
(Master and Wardens) to cast the vote of his absent 
associates, on the principle that every Lodge is enti- 
tled to three votes. 

* “Text-book of Masonic Jurisprudence.” 



3. The right, after regular installation and one 
year’s service, to be elected Master in any regular 
Lodge with which they may affiliate, and which may 
choose to confer that honor upon them. And this, 
too, without regard to the period of time that may 
have elapsed between the close of the term of service 
as Warden and the election as Master. 

4. In some Lodges, the Wardens are allowed to 
appoint the Deacons, but they are few in number, 
and the custom is likely to become altogether extinct. 

According to the ritual, the Senior Warden is 
charged with the superintendence of the Craft while 
at labor, and particularly with the preservation of 
harmony by certain acts therein specified. 

By the same authority, and in virtue of his installa- 
tion charge, to the Junior Warden is committed the 
superintendence of the Craft during the hours of 
refreshment. From this has arisen the practice — 
for there is no written law on the subject — of requiring 
that all complaints against the brethren for infraction 
of our laws should be presented to the Lodge through 
him. This custom is now becoming general, and is 
every way to be commended ; for if he is responsible 
for the proper conduct of the Craft while under his 
charge, when at refreshment or during the recess of 
the Lodge, it is but fair that he should present all 
complaints against them for infractions of the law 



committed during that time. It was the custom, 
within our experience, for the Junior Warden to per- 
form the duty now assigned to the Senior Deacon, in 
the admission of visitors and the reception of candi- 
dates ; and we recollect, too, that in some Lodges we 
have visited, the Wardens had truncheons, instead of 
columns. How the change has been brought about, 
we cannot say. In the Trench rite, the Wardens sit 
together in the West, and each has beside him one 
of the large columns, and, technically, the brethren 
on either side of the hall, under their superintend- 
ence, are said to be their columns. 

In the absence of the Master, the Senior Warden 
succeeds to his place, but it does not follow that the 
Junior Warden thereby proceeds to occupy the Se- 
nior Warden’s vacant station. The Junior Warden 
has certain well-defined duties, which, by his installa- 
tion, he is bound to perform ; among these is no pro- 
vision for his occupancy of a higher station, save in 
the absence of both his superiors, when he proceeds 
to the East, and becomes acting Master. When, in 
the absence of the Master, the Senior Warden as- 
sumes the Chair, the prerogative of appointment 
vests in him, and he proceeds to fill his own vacant 
station by the appointment of a Senior Warden pro 

Finally, in the absence of the Master and Wardens, 



it is now held that the Lodge cannot be opened, be- 
cause there is no one authorized to congregate the 
brethren. We have already shown that, even if we 
admit the power of a Past Master to preside, he can- 
not do so until one of the Wardens has congregated 
the Lodge, and that is a power they cannot delegate. 

The Wardens cannot resign; and in case of a 
vacancy in their offices, by death, suspension or 
expulsion, no election can be had to fill it, until the 
“regular time of choosing.” They cannot resign, for 
the same reason that governs the Master, and, in fact, 
all the elected officers of the Lodge, because at their 
installation they have voluntarily promised to faith- 
fully discharge the duties of their stations for the 
term of one year ; to resign, would be to set this 
promise at naught, besides making the Lodge a party 
to the violation of a plighted word, and subjecting it 
to great inconvenience. Moreover, it is the preroga- 
tive of the Master to fill such vacancies by temporary 
appointments — it being understood, as a matter of 
course, that the brethren so appointed would exercise 
no powers, save that of assisting the Master during 
the meeting for which they might be appointed. In 
case of a session of the Grand Lodge, these appoint- 
ees would not be representatives, but the Lodge 
would lose nothing thereby, for, as already said, the 
Master would cast the votes of the absent Wardens. 




In the thirteenth of the Begulations of 1721, it is 
suggestively required that “ the Treasurer should be 
a man of good worldly substance and this, although 
referring to the Treasurer of the Grand Lodge, would 
seem to apply with equal force to the corresponding 
officer in a subordinate one ; for there is no trust 
connected with the Lodge business which, as a gen- 
eral thing, is so well understood by the brethren as 
its financial concerns. "With greater tact, however, 
than the ancients, we do not now so much regard 
worldly substance as uprightness and sterling honesty 
of character, which are considered better security 
than mere wealth, especially as the Lodge, not being 
recognized in law, there is no legal remedy against a 
delinquent Treasurer. The Lodges in this country 
give with a liberal hand, when a case of actual dis- 
tress is brought to their knowledge ; they take delight 
in real jewels, and expensive furniture and clothing ; 
the consequence of which is, that the Treasurer is 
rarely overburdened with such an amount of money 
as to be likely, even if poor, to forfeit the reputation 
of a life-time by yielding to the temptation of appro- 
priating to his own use the contents of the Lodge 
treasury. But even the comparatively small balance 
which, as a general thing, stands to the Lodge credit, 



is not left wholly to the keeping of the Treasurer, 
but, through the agency of Trustees, is placed in 
some public institution, where, in case of need, it 
may be called for, with a tolerable certainty that it 
will be forthcoming. 

The office of Treasurer is of modern date, as may 
be seen from the fact, that so late as 1723 , it was 
required that an Apprentice, at his making, should 
give something to be used for charitable purposes, 
which amount was to be taken in charge by the Mas- 
ter or Wardens, or the Cashier , if the members saw 
fit to appoint one, — the office being evidently of a 
temporary nature, and the Cashier to be appointed 
or not, as the brethren saw fit. Since that time, how- 
ever, the importance of the office of Treasurer has so 
much increased, that he ranks immediately after the 
Wardens, and in English Lodges is the only officer, 
except the Master, required to be elected by ballot. 
His duties are fully set forth in the Installation 
Charge, and are entirely connected with the Lodge 

Under the general rule, that the elected officers 
cannot resign, no vacancy can occur in this office ; 
but, in some jurisdictions, the Grand Lodge Begula- 
tions allow any officer, except the Master and Ward- 
ens, to vacate their offices by resignation. In such 
cases, the local statute will necessarily govern. 

* v j a r a T^x 

OrTKE \ 



v~ £ju F O 


We regard tlie office of Secretary as, under our 
present organization, one of the most important in 
the Lodge. Like that of Treasurer, it can only be 
said to date from the revival of Masonry in 1717, the 
desultory manner in which Lodge meetings were 
held previous to that time requiring no minutes, and 
therefore no Secretary: in Article III. of the Old 
Regulations, to which we so frequently refer, there 
is, however, a provision for the appointment of some 
brother to keep, among other books, one in which 
shall be all the transactions proper to be written. 
This sufficiently describes the duty of the Secretary 
to show that, when Lodges assumed a regular organ- 
ization under Warrants, his office became necessary 
to the preservation of the Lodge history and the 
prevention of confusion in its labors, and it is par- 
ticularly on this ground that we consider him an im- 
portant officer. The Lodge records are its current 
history, and, if well and neatly kept, ought to be a 
source of pride to the Lodge and of satisfaction to 
the Secretary, who should bear in mind that the lines 
he traces will live when the hand that made them is 
forgotten ; that his children’s children, grown to old 
men, may look upon his handiwork, and be grateful 
that, through it, the remembrance of the Lodge and 



those who had guided its progress had been pre- 
served. We have examined the minutes of some of 
our old Lodges (still in existence), written more than 
a century ago, the paper turned yellow and the 
ink brown, but the language familiar as though 
inscribed but yesterday, and it has seemed that 
the very letters were links binding us with the past, 
and proclaiming the abiding and imperishable nature 
of our institution. It would, then, be well for every 
Secretary of a Lodge to feel as if, in writing his 
minutes, he were making history — carving, as it were, 
with his pen, an unfading record of his Lodge and 
himself. In the discharge of his duties, which are 
purely clerical, he should exhibit order, neatness and 
punctuality. By this, we mean that he should have 
not only a place for every thing, but a regular system 
of doing business ; avoiding the slovenly fashion of 
writing his minutes on odd scraps of paper, to be 
found or not when needed, as the case may be ; the 
use of hieroglyphics that none but himself can read ; 
the bad habit of entering his minutes on the final 
record, as the events occur, without waiting for the 
confirmation of the Lodge, and thus incurring the 
risk of erasures and interlineations, just as much out 
of place there as they would be in a merchant’s leger ; 
the trouble-breeding habit of trusting to memory — 
which is always sure to desert him when its services 



are most needed — particularly with reference to the 
collection of money. All the money of the Lodge 
necessarily passes through his hands : he should not 
only enter the amount received, in his cash-book, at 
the time, but he should also give his receipt for it, 
taking care also to exact a receipt from the Treasurer 
when he pays the funds over to him. It has been 
frequently urged in our presence that among Masons 
there should be no receipts exacted or given, which 
might be correct, if Masons were perfect ; but as they 
are not exempt from the ordinary failings of humani- 
ty, it follows that the best-intentioned will sometimes 
make mistakes. Now, there is scarcely any mistake 
about which it is so difficult to convince a man as 
one in which the payment of money is involved. It 
is far from unfrequent for a member to insist that he 
has paid dues for a certain time, while the Secretary, 
finding no corresponding entry on his books, holds 
the opposite opinion with equal tenacity ; ill feeling 
is often engendered, and a lurking suspicion soon 
finds a place in the hearts of the disputants ; all of 
which may and should be prevented by the presenta- 
tion of the Secretary’s receipt, given at the time of 

It is customary, in the various foreign rites, to ap- 
point an officer, known as the Keeper of Seals and 
Archives, who takes charge of all documents relating 



to the Lodge or its affairs, and who has also the Seal, 
which he alone is authorized to apply to all papers 
emanating from the Lodge or the Secretary. Among 
us, however, the Secretary has custody of the seal, 
and its application to the documents ordered by the 
Lodge is a prerogative of his office. 

Finally, we find the duty of the Secretary correctly 
summed up in the maxim, “ That it does not so much 
matter what the Lodge does, as what the Secretary 
records.” He is to observe the will and pleasure of 
the Worshipful Master, and keep a just and true ac- 
count of all things lawful to be witten. 


There seems to be some question as to when the 
functions of the officers in Lodge, whom we style 
Deacons , were first made a part of our ritual. Dr. 
Oliver appears to think their introduction as com- 
paratively modern. One thing is certain, which is, 
that the part of the ritual assigned to the Senior 
Deacon is becoming greatly extended, and that, by 
apparently common consent, he now performs duties 
formerly devolving on the Junior Warden. The 
method of their appointment varies in different local- 
ities : in some, the Lodge elects ; in others, the Master 
appoints ; and, again, in others, the Master appoints 
the Senior, and the Senior Warden the Junior Deacon. 



With their duties in the services of the ritual, we 
have nothing to do here ; their remaining ones are 
principally to act, — the Senior Deacon as the proxy 
of the Master, by carrying messages for him about 
the Lodge, as desired ; and the Junior Deacon, in a 
like capacity, for the Senior Warden. The Senior 
Deacon is placed at the right, and near the Master, 
that he may be ready to attend to his commands 
whenever issued. The Junior Deacon takes his po- 
sition at the right of the Senior Warden, and is spe- 
cially charged with the supervision of the outer door ; 
it being his province to see that none pass or repass 
without the needful permission. The distinguishing 
feature of the Senior Deacon’s office is, that it de- 
volves upon him the reception of visiting brethren ; 
and we here trespass on the good-nature of the reader 
to express a thought or two, which occur to us in this 
connection. Among the first things a brother does, 
on going to a strange place, is to ascertain the time 
and place of the Lodge meeting, and one of the plea- 
sures he, enjoys by anticipation is that of communing 
with the brethren in their Temple. Knowing this to 
be the case, it would naturally be supposed that the 
rites of hospitality would be administered with un- 
usual grace ; that the amenities of such occasions 
would be found attending the visiting brother, from 
the announcement of his name till he is prepared to 



go forth again to the outer world. In Europe, such 
is the case, and European Masons in this country 7 are 
generally distinguished for the affability with which 
they receive and greet a visiting brother. But in 
American Lodges, the case is too often widely differ- 
ent, and the contrast does not place us in the most 
enviable light. When, among us, a visitor is an- 
nounced, he is received, if a distinguished brother, 
with all the formal honors due to his position, but 
rarely anything farther ; if merely a lay brother, he 
is, if known or vouched for, admitted, but is allowed 
to find accommodations as best he may; if the badge 
of labor be absent, he is very likely to be promptly 
admonished of that fact by the Master, as he will 
also be, if he omit any portion of the ceremonial ob- 
servance depending on him, wdiicli is correct enough, 
but sometimes sadly embarrassing to a young Mason, 
to a timid one, or one who essays for the first time 
to put into" practice the inculcations of the ritual. 
We need a little more politeness — a larger degree of 
that suavity which makes a bashful man feel at ease, 
and warms the heart of the stranger as though he 
■were meeting with old friends. When a person calls 
upon us, at our house, we receive him in the best 
room, lead him to the best place in it, and make it 
our business to know that he is as comfortable as it 
is in our power to make him. Wlien we go abroad, 



we expect similar attentions, and we mentally write 
that man down for a boor who is so far unacquainted 
with the customs of society as to neglect them. Now, 
the lodge-room is our Masonic home, and the polite- 
ness that we feel called upon to exercise in the do- 
mestic circle, ought to be equally manifest there. We 
should endeavor to make the visitor feel that we are 
glad to see him, glad to have him participate in the 
pleasant moments of our gathering, make him so 
enjoy his visit, that he will gladly seek an opportunity 
to renew it; that, at least, he will remember with 
pleasure his call at our assembly. All this can be 
done in the legitimate exercise of the functions of 
the Senior Deacon; and it is worth while for that 
officer to seek distinction, not only for his prompti- 
tude in obeying the orders of his superior, but also 
for the geniality of his reception of visiting brethren. 


In the olden times, it was customary for Lodges to 
terminate their assemblies by a season of social en- 
joyment. In England, where the custom originated, 
it still prevails, and is commonly referred to as the 
“ Knife-and-Fork degree.” Less than half a century 
ago, the American Lodges considered their meetings 
incomplete without the table were spread in the ante- 
room, and the brethren furnished an opportunity to 



refresh themselves before departing for their homes. 
The wealthier Lodges had a regular commissariat, 
bought their stores at wholesale, and were always 
prepared to call from labor to refreshment, in the 
actual sense of the word ; relics of which custom may 
still be met with in the shape of brightly-polished 
coffee-urns, inclosed in glass, and suspended on the 
North wall of the Lodge-room. Among a people who 
push things to such extremes as we do, conviviality 
must necessarily be abused, and that it was so, even 
when it flourished, we find from the songs published 
for use on those occasions, among which are several 
containing sneering allusions to those “ who only go 
to Lodge to eat and drink.” The practice, we are 
happy to say, has now fallen into disuse ; the senti- 
ment of the Craft is against it ; and, that it may not 
be renew r ed, some at least of the Grand Lodges have 
forbidden by statute the introduction into the lodge- 
room or its precincts of any refreshment but water. 

In those days, the Stewards were officers of great 
importance, being charged, as the name implies, with 
the duty of procuring the supplies and dispensing 
them to the brethren as occasion required. In addi- 
tion to the principal duties of their office, they were 
also required to assist the other officers in the recep- 
tion of visiting brethren, in the ceremonies pertain- 
ing to the several degrees, and in the dispensation of 



the Lodge charities.* The office is still nominally 
retained in a majority of all the Lodges working in 
the so-called York rite , but in some jurisdictions the 
name of Master of Ceremonies is substituted, and it is 
probable that at no distant day that will become the 
accepted title of the officers in question. With the 
change of name, there has been some change in the 
routine of their duties. They do not now jmake any 
preparation for refreshments, nor do they have any- 
thing to do with the collection of dues, that being 
entirely in the hands of the Secretary, but in the 
reception of visitors and candidates, they are of great 
importance. Our remarks on the attention to visit- 
ors, in the preceding section, will apply with equal 
force to these officers : their polite attentions and 
fraternal greetings on such occasions will rarely fail 
of appreciation by those to whom they are addressed ; 
so, too, with candidates : if the duties of the Masters 
of Ceremonies are discharged in a courteous and 

* In the Webb installation service, (edition of 1816,) the duties 
of the Stewards are defined to be, “To assist in the collection of 
dues and subscriptions, to keep an account of the Lodge expenses, 
to see that the tables are properly furnished at refreshment, and 
that every brother is suitably provided for ; and generally to assist 
the Deacons and other officers in performing their respective du- 
ties.” Nothing is said of Masters of Ceremonies, which fact suffi- 
ciently demonstrates that the change of name is one of extremely 
modern invention. 



kindly manner, the effect to be thereby produced on 
the mind of the novice will be correspondingly favor- 
able ; and, from this point of view, it is clearly the 
duty of the Master, in the appointment of these 
officers, to select brethren who by their manners are 
capable of inducing a favorable opinion of the Lodge 
in whose behalf they act, and of the Fraternity in 


This is one of the four indispensable officers of a 
Lodge, and one whose functions and responsibilities 
have undergone no change.* He is generally, except 
where the By-laws provide a different method, ap- 
pointed by the Master, and, from the necessities of 
his position, takes no part iu the business of the 
Lodge, and is not required to be a member of the 
Lodge for which he acts. The very first duty of the 
brethren, when about to commence their labors, is to 
be certain that the Tyler is at his post ; for without 
that certainty, no labor could be felt to be secure 
from the interruptions of cowans and eavesdroppers. 
He is the sentinel on the outposts, upon whose sleep- 
less vigilance we depend for security. But while he 
is to be cautious and vigilant in preventing the ap- 

* Except, perhaps, in the spelling of his title — i'S-ler — a mod- 
ernism against which we respectfully protest. 



proach of those who have not the necessary qualifi- 
cations, he should also be courteous in his demeanor 
to all who may have occasion to address him. Po- 
liteness is not an expensive commodity, and every 
Tyler may, therefore, provide himself with an abund- 
ant supply, and find his profit in using it freely. The 
notion, which some Tylers we have met with seem to 
entertain, that it is a portion of their duty to imitate 
the fabled Cerberus, is a fallacy that ought to be 
exploded. We have read of an executioner, who took 
off the heads of his victims with the most winning 
affability, and we know of no reason why a Tyler 
should be any more gruff than an executioner. Let 
him, if he will, imitate the conscript, who refused to 
allow the Emperor to pass without the countersign, 
but let him do it in a becoming manner, suffering 
none to pass without permission, but not acting as 
though he were bound to regard every one approach- 
ing him as desirous to pass his station at all hazards. 

The Tyler is generally required, in addition to the 
duty of guarding the outer door, to serve all notices 
and summons, to take care of the jewels and imple- 
ments against next preparation night, and in all 
things to be guided by the will and pleasure of the 
Worshipful Master. 




The officers above enumerated are all that, strictly 
speaking, can be said to be required in a Ma- 
sonic Lodge, or to have any real official status in it ; 
but while these are necessary to make a perfect 
Lodge, it is left to the discretion of the brethren to 
name others, which is, in most cases, done to give a 
quasi official station to some brother or brethren 
whom the Lodge desire in that way to honor. Thus, 
when a minister of the Gospel is initiated in or affil- 
iates with a Lodge, it is not uncommon for the Mas- 
ter to appoint him Chaplain , and place in his charge 
the religious ceremonies of the society. There is a 
propriety in this that commends the practice. The 
prayers and invocations of the ritual are more solemn 
and effective when pronounced by one who is known 
to have received holy orders. We may even go fur- 
ther, and say that, when it is possible to secure the 
services of such a brother, it ought always to be 
done ; it being understood that if he really love Ma- 
sonry, he will, in the discharge of his duties, exem- 
plify only “ that Religion in which all men agree,’* 
leaving the particular opinions of the brethren to 

For similar reasons, we have known a brother to 
be appointed Physician to his Lodge. We could 



never imagine any Masonic reason for the crea- 
tion of such an office, except, perhaps, that his 
professional talents might be called into operation 
in the examination of the physical qualifications 
of candidates. 

Some Lodges appoint a Marshal , who is to take 
charge of all processions and public ceremonials of 
the Lodge. If these occasions were of frequent oc- 
currence — as, happily, they are not — it might be well 
to have an officer who would make himself competent 
to officiate ; but as it is, when Lodges do appear in 
public — as at a funeral, for instance — a temporary 
appointment seems to answer all the requirements. 

The Board of Trustees , though not really officers, 
but rather a kind of standing committee, occupy most 
important relations to the Lodge, particularly when, 
by a long and successful career, its funds and prop- 
erties have accumulated to a considerable amount. 
Lodges, under our civil law, not being incorporated, 
are not recognized as having a legal status , or the 
rights that ensue : hence, they cannot acquire or 
dispose of real estate, or invest their funds, except 
through the agency of Trustees. It is, therefore, of 
moment that not only should such a Board exist, but 
that it should be composed of prudent and discreet 
brethren, who will appreciate the confidential nature 
of the trust reposed in them, and be governed not 



only by a high sense of honor, but by a desire to 
forward the best interests of their Lodge. The first 
and strongest claim upon the capital of a Masonic 
Lodge is that of a worthy brother in distress, or that 
of his widow or orphans in destitute circumstances. 
Money for such a purpose loses its ordinary charac- 
ter, and becomes a trust, sacred as the fires of Vesta, 
and he who wrongfully appropriates or carelessly 
administers it, acquires, at the same time, the con- 
tempt of every right-minded Mason. 

It is usual for the Lodge property to be placed in 
the custody of the Trustees, and they also receive and 
invest, as the Lodge may direct, all its surplus funds. 

The manner of their appointment and their tenure 
of office depend altogether upon the By-laws of the 


Of the officers named in the preceding section, the 
Master, Wardens, Treasurer, and Secretary are, as a 
general rule, required to be elected by ballot. The 
others are elected or appointed, as the Constitution 
of the Grand Lodge may permit or the By-laws direct. 
In England, only the Master and Treasurer are elected 
by ballot, the remaining officers, except the Tyler, 
being appointed by the Master. 

The elections are required to be held annually, at 



such time as may be prescribed by the Regulations 
of the Grand Lodge ; generally at the stated commu- 
nication next preceding the festival of St. John the 
Evangelist (27th of December), though in some cases 
on the day of the festival itself, and the installation 
must either take place at once, or within some rea- 
sonable period thereafter. Until such installation 
takes place, it is a settled rule that the old officers 
hold over, the installation being the completion of 
the election, and the contract — so to speak — on the 
part of the officer not only to accept the election, but 
faithfully to discharge the duties of his office for the 
term of one year, or until his successor has fulfilled 
the like conditions; for which reason, as we have 
already stated, an installed officer cannot and ought 
not to resign. It is doubtful whether there is any 
law for this, older than the present century, but it is 
a regulation universally sanctioned in the United 
States, and it has, therefore, all the force of a Land- 

Should a Subordinate Lodge, from any cause, fail 
to comply with the Grand Lodge Regulations, as to 
the time of election, it has no authority within itself 
to correct the default, but must apply to the Grand 
Master or his Deputy for a Dispensation to authorize 
an election at a time other than that specified in the 



At every election, each member of the Lodge in 
good standing is entitled to one vote. On this point, 
two questions have been extensively argued: — 1st, 
Who is the judge, and what is good standing, so far 
as it is applicable to voting at an election for officers? 
and, 2d, Are blank ballots, cast at such an election, 
votes? These questions are of sufficient importance 
to warrant their examination in this place. 

It is held, by one side, that a member is in good 
standing for all purposes, so long as his name remains 
upon the roll, or so long as he has not, after due trial, 
been suspended or expelled for unmasonic conduct : 
and by the other — with which we agree — that a Lodge 
has a right to inflict a lesser penalty than suspension 
for a delinquency that may be provided for in its By- 
laws. It is admitted that a Lodge has a right to re- 
quire the payment of an annual sum (called dues) by 
each of its members, the amount of which, and the 
manner of its payment, is of necessity left to the 
Lodge. In Lodges where such dues are exacted,* 
it is now the common practice to insert a clause in 
the By-laws, depriving those in arrears for a specified 
period of their votes at elections for officers, until 
such arrearages have been paid. Now, we cannot 
understand why, if a Lodge has the right to enact a 

* In Rhode Island, and, we think, Connecticut, the members 
of Lodges are not required to pay dues. 



By-law requiring the payment of dues, it should not 
also have the right to punish, by a reasonable penalty, 
a neglect or refusal to comply with the law. Every 
Master Mason is informed at his raising that, after 
signing the By-laws, he will be considered a member 
in good standing, entitled to all the rights and privi- 
leges of the Lodge, and subject to all its rules and 
regulations. The Lodge here evidently reserves the 
right to judge of his good standing in the future by 
putting him in mind of his obligation to “ stand to 
and abide by” the rules and regulations. He signs 
the official copy of the By-laws, in token of his assent 
to their provisions, and of his intention to maintain 
them ; he is furnished with a copy, (and if he does 
not read it, the fault is his,) and thus he is fairly held 
to know them, (just as, in the State, every citizen is 
assumed to know the law, and cannot plead ignorance 
of it as a justification of its infraction,) and to accept 
of certain privileges — among which is the right to 
vote — on condition of the performance of certain acts 
by him. It is, therefore, submitted that, in all fair- 
ness, a member who fails or neglects to pay his dues 
as required by the By-laws, violates a promise volun- 
tarily given by him, and has no right to complain of 
the enforcement of a penalty, which he had likewise 
agreed to in advance, and the disability accruing 
from which can be removed at once by the payment 



of a sum justly due. It will be understood, as a 
matter of course, that where the non-payment arises 
from positive inability, it would not come within the 
terms of the regulation, because it would then be 
neither refusal nor neglect. The right to vote for 
the officers of a Lodge is evidently a household mat- 
ter, and, strictly speaking, concerns only the members 
of the particular Lodge : it is but just, therefore, that 
they should control a subject in which they alone are 
directly interested. 

The ballot for candidates is widely different : in 
that case, it is a landmark that every brother present 
should give his consent, and no By-law can change 
a fundamental law ; but the rules governing the elec- 
tion of officers, being of modem date, are subject to 
no such restriction. For these reasons, we are of 
opinion that the Lodge is the judge of the qualifica- 
tion of its own voters, and that a brother who has 
willfully neglected or refused to comply with the By- 
law which requires the payment of arrearages as a 
qualification to vote at an election for officers, is not 
a qualified voter, and, to that extent, not in good 

Secondly. Are blank ballots, cast at an election for 
officers, votes? We think they are, and our reasons 
are few, and easily comprehended. Let us first ex- 
plain that, by a ballot, we understand a slip of paper, 



when the election is for officers ; when it is for candi- 
dates, we nse the same word to signify white and 
black balls, nsed for the purpose of voting. A ballot 
represents a brother’s vote, which is the expression 
of whatever opinion he may entertain, and which he 
has a right to express without let or hindrance. 
Every qualified voter is entitled to one vote, and the 
successful candidate must have a majority of all the 
votes cast. Now, suppose an election about to take 
place, the first thing is to ascertain the number of 
voters, suppose we say twenty, of which eleven would 
of course be necessary to the success of any candi- 
date. The roll is called, and every brother having 
deposited his ballot, the tellers announce twenty 
votes ; they proceed to canvass, and find that John 
Smith has ten votes, William Brown nine, and that 
there is one blank. Under these circumstances, there 
could be no election ; for no one could be said to 
have received a majority of all the votes cast, nor 
could the brother who deposited the blank ballot be 
lawfully deprived of his franchise : he had a right to 
vote as he pleased, and because there was no name 
on the slip of paper used by him, it was none the 
less his vote, and had been formally deposited by him 
as such. Suppose that, instead of an absolute blank, 
he had written the name of Mary Smith upon it ; 
there would then be no question as to its being a 



vote ; yet Mary Smith could not, by any possibility, 
be a candidate, and a vote for such a personage would 
be just as much a vote thrown away, as a blank would 
be. Take another view : Suppose Smith to have re- 
ceived eleven votes, and blank nine. Could it be 
pretended that Smith would be unanimously elected? 
Certainly not ; for there would be nine voters, who, 
although they did not choose to vote for any one else, 
clearly did not vote for him, and yet the expression 
of their opinion could not be ignored. The true rule 
is, to ascertain the whole number of votes cast, and 
then require the successful candidate to have received 
a majority of that number, whether the minority be 
blanks or otherwise. When, on a question pending, 
the vote is taken by ballot, blank ballots are always 
counted as in the affirmative. 

It is held that, as nominations for office are permit- 
ted in the Grand Lodge, by analogy, it is proper to 
nominate in the subordinate. As there is no law 
against such a practice, there is nothing to prevent 
it but the good sense of the brethren, which, so far as 
our experience goes, has prevailed, though we know 
there are jurisdictions where the practice of nomina- 
tions is common. To our mind, the idea of making 
open nominations for the officers, at an election in a 
particular Lodge, is utterly repugnant — at complete 
variance with that calm dignity which ought to char- 



acterize all the proceedings. It reduces us at once 
to the level of the ordinary associations of men, and 
divests us of an attribute to which we ought to cling 
with immovable tenacity. Moreover, it is a practice 
for which necessity cannot be urged. The custom of 
calling off for a few moments, previous to depositing 
the ballots, affords an opportunity for consultation, 
and then, labor being resumed, the silent ballot is 
more in accordance with the spirit of the Craft than 
a resort to the practices of the outside world could 
be. "We have been present at a great many elections 
in Subordinate Lodges, but never yet at one where 
open nominations were made, and it appears to us 
that such an act would shock our idea of the propri- 
eties of such occasions. "We earnestly hope that no 
Lodge will commence the practice, and that those 
that have been accustomed to it will see the propriety 
of its speedy abandonment. 

Much has been written to prove that a brother 
elected or appointed to office is bound to serve. It 
is sufficient to say, that there is no law for such as- 
sertion, but that every Mason is free to accept office 
or not. When, however, a brother has been chosen 
to aid in the labors of the Lodge, in any station for 
which his capacities fit him, he ought, if possible, 
to accept, and thus prove that he has its welfare at 




The results of an election should be immediately 
communicated by the Secretary to the Grand Secre- 
tary, under his official seal. 

Elections are always to be held in a Lodge opened 
on the third degree. 

In some Lodges, the Treasurer and Secretary are 
required to receive and canvass the ballots ; but it is 
a better rule to appoint tellers from among the breth- 
ren, leaving the officers to occupy their respective 


The ceremony of installation, which, as we have 
already remarked, is the completion of the election, 
is, therefore, indispensable to the officers elect ; for 
without it they cannot legally enter upon the duties 
of their respective offices. For this reason, it should 
be performed at the earliest convenient time after 
the completion of the balloting. 

The act of installation, as will be seen by reference 
to the Manual , consists of the presentation of the 
officers elect to the installing officer, on whose demand 
the brethren acknowledge that they are the persons 
elected, and that they (the brethren) remain satisfied 
with their choice. (This is the proper time to make 
objections, if any are to be made, against any irreg- 
ularity that may have occurred on the balloting ; for 



it is held that if the installation be allowed to proceed 
without objection, it will then be too late to make 
complaint.) In a covenant by the officers elect, 
faithfully to discharge the duties of the several trusts 
for the term of their election. In the public ac- 
knowledgment by the Master elect of his acceptance 
of and submission to the Charges and Regulations, 
as Masters have done in all ages before him. In an 
appropriate Charge to the Master and each of the 
officers. And, finally, in rendering homage and due 
respect to the new officers. 

All these ceremonies, except the qualification of 
the officers, may be performed in public ; and we 
speak from much experience when we say, that the 
effect of such a course, where properly conducted, is 
always beneficial — as tending to convince the world 
that the duties and responsibilities exacted of our 
officers are of a nature to be commended ; that we 
seek to maintain no greater secrecy as to our pro- 
ceedings than is necessary to preserve the institution 
from innovation ; and, as having a tendency, by re- 
quiring the officers to assume their trusts in the 
presence of their families and friends, to impress 
with greater force upon their minds the serious 
nature of their undertaking. Public intallations may 
be enlivened with appropriate music, and should be 
accompanied by an address, in which the nature and 



design of Freemasonry and other kindred subjects 
may be treated. 

It is the province of the retiring Master to install 
his successor, but he may, if he please, delegate this 
power to any Past Master, but not to any brother of 
inferior rank; or, if desired, the new Master, after 
his own installation, may install the other officers. 

There are some who hold that, in case of Selection, 
no installation is needed ; but when we reflect that 
the election and the covenant are for a specified term, 
we must admit that, with the close of the term, the 
obligation ends, and that, therefore, a new election, 
beginning as it does a new term, requires a new 
covenant and a corresponding installation ; nor do 
we appreciate the assertion that a man cannot be his 
own successor ; for he commences the new term just 
as any other person would, or just as if he had never 
occupied the station before. We apprehend that 
where a President of the United States or the Gov- 
ernor of a State is reelected, he is required to again 
assume the oath of office, as though he had never 
been inaugurated before, and the cases are exactly 

There are some jurisdictions where installation is 
allowed to be assumed by proxy. The majority of 
Grand Lodges are, however, averse to such proceed- 
ing ; and we do not see how a man can take upon 



himself an obligation by the lips of another, or how 
he could be legally held for the infraction of a yow 
he had not personally pronounced. 

Immediately after the installation, the retiring 
officers transfer to their successors all the books, 
money, and property of the Lodge that may have 
been in their possession. 


~ Of 



IMjjt glfttings. 

The assemblies of a Lodge, technically termed 
communications, are of two kinds — called and stated. 

Called meetings, or meetings of emergency, are 
entirely within the discretion of the Master, or of the 
Warden acting in his absence, as to time, but they 
are required to be held at the place usually occupied 
by the Lodge. As a general rule, no business can 
be transacted at such meetings, except that stated 
in the summons or call ; but there are some things 
that cannot be done there, even if mentioned in 
the summons: as, the presentation of petitions for 
initiation or adjoining ; the appointment of commit- 
tees to act on such petitions ; the ballot on report of 
committees of investigation, previously appointed at 
a stated communication ; the dispensation of charity, 
or any other disposal of the Lodge funds. This last 
item, and perhaps some others, may be considered in 
a called Lodge, but they can only be finally and law- 
fully acted upon at a stated communication. In like 
manner, the minutes may be read and corrected, if 
necessary, but they can only be confirmed at a fol- 



lowing regular assembly. The legitimate action of a 
called meeting may, therefore, be said to be limited 
to, the conferring of degrees on candidates previ- 
ously regularly elected, the giving instruction in the 
work and lectures, and the public ceremonials of the 
Craft, as Dedications, Installations, and the burial of 
the dead. 

Stated meetings are the regular assemblies of the 
Lodge at the time and place named in the Warrant, 
and more particularly specified in the By-laws. They 
should occur at least once in each calendar month, 
and not more than twice in the same period of time. 
We are aware that some of the finest and most flour- 
ishing Lodges hold weekly communications ; but we 
think that, all things considered, it will be found 
wisest not to make too frequent calls upon the time 
and attention of the members, lest, in the end, they 
weary of a pleasure too frequently enjoyed, and little 
by little lose their interest in the Lodge and in the 
institution. It is difficult to maintain the interest in 
weekly meetings, except by a constant succession of 
“work,” which is wearisome to the officers and dan- 
gerous to the Lodge ; for there is less likelihood of 
careful examination into the qualifications of candi- 
dates, and of due proficiency before advancement, 
where the staple attraction is the conferring of de- 
grees, for which other and more important matters 



must, almost, of necessity, be sacrificed. Let us not 
be misunderstood : we do not assert that sucli is al- 
ways the case, but that it is so, sometimes, we know ; 
that it may be so frequently, there is danger. One 
evil alone that grows out of weekly meetings, more 
than counterbalances all the good to be expected of 
them, and that is, the reception of a petition at one 
meeting, and the report of committee, ballot for, 
and initiation of a candidate at the next ; or with 
the lapse of only seven days between the petition of 
a candidate and his actual initiation into the Frater- 
nity. We know that this is done in New York, and 
it is within the letter of the Constitution, but it is 
so near making Masons at sight, that the difference 
is hardly worth mentioning. Anything less than a 
month between the petition and the ballot is a viola- 
tion of the Old Begulations; and although Grand 
Lodge Constitutions may permit an abbreviation of 
that time, Lodges should, for their own safety and 
stability, waive the privilege, and act upon the old 
law. They will be the better enabled to do this, by 
having their stated meetings less frequently than 
once a week. Finally, if it is thought indispensable 
to hold weekly meetings, let the first one in each 
month be the stated communication, devoted to the 
legislative business of the Lodge, and the others, 
special meetings for the conferring of degrees and 



exemplification of the work and lectures ; both the 
business and work would thus stand a chance of being 
well done, and the value of the maxim, that “ Masonry 
is never in a hurry,” be made manifest. 

The first business at all meetings, after the con- 
gregation of the Lodge, is, of course, the formula of 
opening, which we take occasion to say should never 
be performed in a slovenly manner, nor hastily slur- 
red over, but given in ample detail, for the benefit of 
the uninstructed brethren, and for the credit of the 
Lodge and its officers. The introduction of music 
in this, as well as in other appropriate portions of the 
ceremonies, is, in our judgment, to be highly com- 
mended. When well performed, either by the united 
voices of the brethren, or with the accompaniment of 
an organ or harmonium, it seems to predispose the 
mind to the exercise of those qualities that ought 
especially to distinguish the assemblies of the Craft. 
There are those who object to it, because it is made 
the means of introducing some inelegant doggerel, 
but we are inclined to regard the sentiment, rather 
than the versification of what we sing : if the idea 
sought to be inculcated is correct, and the music 
good, the rhyme is of small consequence. 

There is a practice in many Lodges of calling the 
roll of officers immediately after the Lodge is declared 
open, which, although it has no legal sanction, is 



nevertheless not without its use as an inducement to 
those brethren to be promptly at their stations, that 
they may answer when called, and by their example 
lead the members generally to be punctual in their 

The business of the meeting always commences by 
the reading of the minutes of the last stated com- 
munication, and of those of any special meeting that 
may have intervened, that the latter may be approved, 
and that the Lodge may be governed by the former 
as to any unfinished business requiring its attention, 
as reports of standing or special committees, or any 
other item of Lodge business. In this respect, the 
qualities of a good Secretary will at once be mani- 
fested by the orderly arrangement of the various 
topics that may have been acted upon at the previous 
communication. Some Secretaries write their entire 
minutes in one paragraph, as if the economy of half 
a sheet of paper that might be consumed in properly 
displaying them would materially affect the Lodge 
revenues. Properly, each item should form a sepa- 
rate paragraph, and when one is finished, a blank 
line should be left before commencing another. A 
wide margin is also to be recommended, that brief 
notes may be written opposite the important para- 
graphs, to indicate their tenor. The object of these 
marginal notes is, to enable the Secretary or others 



to discover the record of any particular circumstance 
without being obliged to read through the whole body 
of the minutes. Brevity — that is, so much as is con- 
sistent with clearness — ought to be the aim of the 
brother who writes the minutes ; neatness and system 
in their arrangement always attract commendation. 
At the bottom of the last page of the minutes of each 
communication should be entered, in full, the names 
of all brethren who have paid money to the Secretary, 
and opposite to their names the amount so paid, as 
also the items of disbursement ordered by the Lodge. 
These items, when so entered, are convenient for 
reference ; and after having been read to and ap- 
proved by the Lodge, are vouchers of the Secretary's 
correctness. Finally, the Master is to observe that 
the record is correct, both as to what is written and 
what is omitted, before he allows it to be confirmed. 

After the reading of the minutes, the proper oppor- 
tunity is afforded for the admission of visitors, as it 
can then be done with less interruption to the pro- 
ceedings, than when the Lodge has entered upon the 
transaction of its regular business. No alarm should 
be attended to during the ceremony of opening or 
closing ; during the reading of the minutes ; while a 
brother is addressing the Lodge, or while the Master 
is engaged in conferring degrees; nor should any 
countenance be given i o the practice of entering or 



retiring from the Lodge during the most solemn part 
of the ceremonies. A proper respect for the Master 
and the proprieties of such occasions ought in them- 
selves to be a sufficient restraint ; but when they fail, 
the authority of the Master should at once be inter- 
posed. Visitors may, of course, be admitted at any 
time, if the Master choose to allow it ; but it is better 
for all concerned that brethren should be at the hall 
at the time appointed for the opening, in order that 
they may be examined, if necessary, and admitted at 
an early period of the communication. 

Behavior, in the Lodge and out of it, is so fully 
treated in the sixth of the Ancient Charges, that we 
need do no more in this place than refer to that 

The method of voting depends upon the subject 
on which the vote is to be taken : thus, in elections 
of candidates and officers, ballots are used, which, in 
one case, are slips of paper, on which the voter writes 
his preference, or which he leaves blank ; in the other, 
white and black balls, the white being used to signify 
the affirmative, or consent ; the black, the negative, 
or rejection. On all other questions, the vote is usu- 
ally taken by uplifted hands, which, if required, the 
Deacons count. Much argument has been wasted in 
the attempt to demonstrate the proper hand to be 
jphfted — some inclining to the right ; others, with 



equal plausibility, to the left. We have never been 
able to perceive that it makes any difference which 
hand is used. 

Much of the Lodge business is performed, in its 
details, by reference to committees. Committees are 
of two kinds — standing and special. Standing com- 
mittees are usually appointed on electiod night, and 
serve for the official year — the purpose of their ap- 
pointment being indicated by the By-laws. Special 
committees are named as occasion may require, and 
are generally discharged when the particular item of 
business placed in their charge is disposed of. All 
committees are appointed by the Master, unless he 
waive the right. It is the custom for the brother 
first named in the appointment of a committee to act 
as Chairman. Beports of committees should always 
be reduced to writing, not only to avoid any misun- 
derstanding as to their sentiments, but for the con- 
venience of the Secretary and that of the brethren. 
All members of committees are in honor bound to 
the faithful discharge of the trust imposed on them, 
and should make their report with all proper exacti- 
tude and dispatch. 

In the discussions that sometimes arise in a Lodge 
it is, as we have already shown, the prerogative of 
the Master to mark the limits of debate, and keep 
the brethren within them. Few men, however, are 



gifted with the powers of discrimination necessary to 
the exercise of so difficult a supervision, and, there- 
fore, some rules are sought for which shall suffice to 
keep the debate within due bounds, and their ob- 
servance be at once a restraint on the brethren and 
an assistance to the presiding officer. The mind 
thus naturally reverts to what is termed “ Parliament- 
ary law,” and the question arises, “ How far may it 
safely be used in the business of a Masonic Lodge?” 
This question has been most ably and satisfactorily 
answered by M. W. Bro. Benjamin B. French, in an 
article published in the American Quarterly Bevieio 
of Freemasonry . We feel that we are doing the 
Craft a service by transferring to these pages its 
most important suggestions. 

“No body of men,” (says Bro. French,) “no matter how 
small, or how well disposed to be orderly it may be, can be 
kept in order for the transaction of business, and the debate 
which necessarily accompanies it, without a presiding officer; 
and no presiding officer, be his talent and capacity for pre- 
siding what they may, can keep order unless he be governed 
by fixed rules and principles, admitted to be binding by those 
over whom he presides. Therefore, we find the custom to be 
universal, after the organization of any assembly of individ- 
uals, of adopting rules for government, by which they impose 
a duty on their presiding officer of administering, and on 
themselves of obeying, the rules thus made. In ordinary 



public bodies, these rules are temporary, lasting only during 
the legal existence of the body which they are formed to 
govern. The House of Representatives of the United States 
becomes a new legislative body every two years, and is only 
governed by the general parliamentary law until either the 
rules of the preceding House are adopted, or a new code 
formed. The Senate, being a permanent body, is always 
governed by the same rules until it sees fit to alter or renew 

“ Masonic bodies are somewhat like the Senate, in this 
latter particular. When once formed, they remain Lodges, 
Chapters, etc., forever. Therefore, the rules and regulations 
by which they are to be governed, ought to be permanent 
and uniform. I have noticed, within a few years, a new 
feature adopted by some of the governing Masonic bodies, 
in the formation of ‘model by-laws/ on which the Subordi- 
nates are to found their codes. This is an excellent plan, 
inasmuch as it tends to create a uniformity of government in 
the jurisdictions wherein it operates. But by-laws are one 
thing, and rules of government, while the body is assembled 
for business, another. 

“ My design in this paper is to present my own views in 
relation to the application of regular parliamentary law, so 
far as it will apply to the government of Masonic bodies. 

“ The term Parliamentary Law originated by being the 
designation of the peculiar law which governed and governs 
the proceedings of the British Parliament. Laws and rules 
adopted by that body became by degrees the governing law 
of all deliberative assemblies, so far as they would apply; 




and as soon as onr forefathers so far established governments 
on this side of the Atlantic as to need rules and regulations, 
they adopted those of the mother-country; and thus the law 
of parliament became, in a measure, the governing law of 
American deliberative assemblies; and the law of parliament 
has come to be a general term, applicable to all well-estab- 
lished rules and regulations adopted by legislatures. 

“ The dictum of Hatsell — the best English authority on 
precedents extant — that ‘ it is much more material that there 
should be a rule to go by, than what that rule is/ is a sound 
principle, and applies as well to the government of a Masonic 
Lodge as to the House of Commons of Great Britain. 

“ All regular meetings of Masonic bodies are fixed by their 
by-laws, and the records of the body should always show, 
either that the meeting was held, or the reason why it was 
not. It is well known to every well-informed Freemason, 
that a certain number must be present before a Lodge can 
be opened, and that it requires also the presence of certain 
officers: therefore, no parliamentary rule applies to the con- 
vening of a Lodge. The rule, that a faithful record shall be 
kept of what is proper to be written, is a Masonic one; and 
the period of no regular meeting should be suffered to pass, 
even though the Lodge be not opened, without a statement, 
as full as may be, on the record-book, giving the facts as they 
occurred, that when the proper inspecting officer makes his 
annual visit, he may see as well what has been omitted to be 
done that ought to have been done, and the reasons therefor, 
as what has actually been done. 

“ The Lodge having been duly opened, it becomes at once 



a deliberative assembly for any business that may legitimately 
come before it. The Master is the presiding officer, and the 
floor is open, under the restrictions of the by-laws, to any 
member who may desire to submit any proposition proper for 
consideration. And here the parliamentary rules apply in 
all their force. 

“I will here quote those rules, substituting the words 
‘ Master 1 and ‘ Brother ’ for Speaker and Member. 

“ When the Master is seated in his chair, every brother is 
to sit in his place. 

“When any brother means to speak, he is to stand up in 
his place, and address himself, not to the Lodge, or any par- 
ticular brother, but to the Master, who calls him by his name, 
that the Lodge may take notice of who it is that speaks. 

“When a brother stands up to speak, no question is to be 
put; but he is to be heard. 

“ [This rule closes with the words, ‘ unless the House over- 
rule him/ It is not customary or proper for the Lodge to 
overrule any brother in debate. If the Master deem the 
debate irrelevant, he has full power to call the brother to 
order, and to keep him within the bounds of order, or to 
silence him in a manner known only to Masons. From the 
Master's decision there is no appeal to the Lodge.] * 

“ If two or more brethren rise to speak nearly together, 
the Master determines who was first up, and calls him by 
name; whereupon he proceeds, unless he voluntarily sits 
down, and gives way to the other. 

“ [Here again the House can overrule the Speaker, and 



decide which member was first up. But the Lodge cannot 
overrule the Master.] 

“By the parliamentary law, no one may speak more than 
once, to the same question, on the same day. This is a very 
wholesome provision, and, unless there be some particular 
provision in the by-laws touching this point, it would be well 
for the Master, when he thinks precious time is being wasted 
in debate, to enforce it. This is a matter, however, that I 
consider altogether discretionary with the Master, and in 
which he should always be governed by the peculiar circum- 
stances of the time. Explanation, as to what has been said, 
is always permitted. 

“ If the Master rises to speak, the brother standing up 
must sit down, that he may be first heard. 

“ No one is to speak impertinently or beside the question, 
superfluously or tediously. 

“ No one is to disturb another in his speech by hissing, 
coughing, spitting, or whispering to another, nor to stand up 
or interrupt him; nor to pass between the Master and the 
speaking brother, nor to go across the Lodge-room, nor to 
walk up and down it. 

“ If a brother, in debate, use any improper language, any 
brother* may call him to order, if the Master do not; and if 
there is any dispute as to the language used, it would be 
well to have the language -taken <Jown by the brother calling 
to order, that the Master may consider it carefully before 
coming to a decision. 

“As the rules of Freemasonry allow no appeal from the 
Master to the Lodge, it behooves every Master to make his 



decisions with great care, and after full consideration; and, 
although no appeal can be taken, the Master may, before 
his decision, ask experienced members of the Lodge to aid 
him with their opinions, and they are bound to respond. The 
Master may, if he see fit, express an opinion to the Lodge, 
and ask its advice, prior to making his decision. 

“Any brother may present a petition to the Lodge, if 
properly signed and vouched, at the time when petitions are 
in order, or he may hand it to the Secretary, and have it 
presented through him. After it is received, it is for the 
Lodge to determine what is to be done with it. If no ques- 
tion is made by any brother, the petition is referred to the 
Master as a matter of course; and when reported upon, the 
report is open to amendment and debate, and to final action 
by the body to which it is made. 

“Upon the presentation of a petition, any brother may 
raise the question, and, in that case, the Master is bound to 
put the question: ‘Shall the petition be received?' If not 
received, no further action can be had relative to it, and it 
remains in the hands of the one who presented it, to be dis- 
posed of as he thinks proper." 


“‘Committees of the Whole' are out of place in a Masonic 
body. Lodges can only do business with the Master in the 
chair ; for, let who will preside, he is, while occupying the 
chair, Master — invested with supreme command, and em- 
phatically ‘governs the Lodge.' Any committee presupposes 
a ‘ Chairman,' and no Freemason would feel at home, were 
he presided over by a ‘Chairman."' 



“ There is a difference between accepting and adopting a 
report. If nothing is said, it is considered as accepted as 
soon as made. If it closes with resolutions, and the report 
itself requires no definite legislation, the question is on agree- 
ing to the resolutions. If the report itself embodies legisla- 
tion, and there are also resolutions attached, the question is 
on adopting the report, and agreeing to the resolutions. If 
no resolutions are attached, and the report recommends no 
action, its acceptance, either tacitly or by a vote, disposes of 
it. If it requires action, then a vote must be taken on its 
adoption, to make it binding. If it is upon a petition for 
admission, no matter whether favorable or unfavorable, the 
question is on proceeding to ballot for the candidate, unless 
a motion is made to dispose of the report in some other 
manner* Reports may be recommitted at any time before 
the final action upon them.” * * * * * 

“ Motions, in a Masonic body, are governed by precisely 
the same rules as in a parliamentary body. Any member of 
the body can make a motion, and it must be seconded by 
another member, (the presiding officer can second it, if he 
pleases,) before it is in possession of the body. If in order, 
of which the presiding officer must be the judge, it is then 
debatable, or may be put to the question, if no debate is 
offered. If the presiding officer require it, all motions must 
be put in writing before being acted upon. 

Resolutions and Orders are governed by precisely the 

* We can imagine no other disposition of such a report, except 
to lie upon the table temporarily, or to recommit for further exam- 
ination. Its final disposition must be by ballot, for the petition 
on which it is based cannot be withdrawn. 



same rules as motions; they are often only motions reduced 
to writing: for instance, a brother may move that the Lodge 
proceed to ballot for a candidate, or he may introduce a 
resolution in writing to do the same thing. Resolutions gen- 
erally express opinions, and motions may apply to resolutions, 
as ‘a motion to amend/ ‘to lie upon the table/ ‘to postpone/ 
etc., but resolutions cannot apply to motions. 

“ Orders are only used when the body commands, as, ‘ Or- 
dered / that the Secretary do so and so, etc. 

“Freemasonry knows no ‘previous question/ and no Ma- 
sonic body should ever tolerate it.” * * * 

“ The Masonic rule should be, that where well-settled par- 
liamentary principles can be properly applied to the action 
of Masonic bodies, they should always govern; but they 
should never be introduced where they, in any way, interfere 
with the established customs or landmarks of Masonry, or 
with the high prerogatives of the Master.” 

To the above we subjoin, for the sake of complete- 
ness, the following, by Dr. Mackey : 

When a motion has once been made, and carried in the 
affirmative or negative, it is in order for any member who 
voted in the majority to move for a reconsideration thereof 
at the same communication. 

When an amendment is proposed, a member who has 
already spoken to the main question may again speak to the 

When a blank is to be filled, and various propositions 
have been made, the question must be taken first on the 
highest sum or the latest time proposed. 



Any member may call for a division of the question, which 
division will take place, if a majority of the members consent. 

A motion to lie on the table is not debatable. 

A motion to adjourn is unmasonic, and cannot be enter- 

The business of the meeting is concluded by the 
reading of the minutes, in order that any errors or 
omissions may be corrected, while the brethren are 
present who have taken part in the proceedings. 
They are then approved, which being done, we hold 
that they cannot subsequently be altered, even though 
a mistake of omission or commission should be made 
manifest. The reason is, that the minutes of a Lodge 
are the legal record of its transactions, and on Ma- 
sonic trials are admitted as evidence : if they were 
subject to alteration at will, they could have no such 
value, because there would then be no certainty that 
the minutes produced were in the same condition 
that they were at the time they were recorded. 
Where a palpable error is ascertained, it can be 
noted in the minutes of the next communication, 
and when approved by the Lodge, will stand as the 
legal correction of the former minutes. 

Finally, the ceremony of closing is to be observed 
with the same care as that of opening, and, as before 
hinted, it should be the endeavor of Master and 
brethren to have it always take place at a reasonably 
early hour. 


%\t J'l00t Ptmbtrs. 

We have, in a previous chapter, stated our belief 
in the doctrine that, as in the State, the original 
sovereignty resides in the people, so in Masonry, it 
belongs to the members of the subordinate or par- 
ticular Lodges, but the extent to which it may be 
exercised by its original custodians, is now a very 
different matter from what it was previous to the 
revival of 1717. At that period, Lodges being merely 
temporary gatherings for the one purpose of confer- 
ring the E. A. degree, membership and its conse- 
quences, as now understood, were unknown. Each 
individual acted for himself, and entirely without 
control or restraint, nor were there any but the most 
general relations between individual Masons, except 
when a number gave 'their consent to the initiation 
of a profane, and attended a meeting held under the 
authority of the civil magistrates, to witness and 
assist in the performance of that ceremony.* The 

* The four old Lodges, which are so often referred to in con- 
nection with the formation of the Grand Lodge of England, would 
seem to have been an exception, so far as permanent organization 



great body of the Craft was then composed of Ap- 
prentices, or Masons of the first degree, and the 
Annual Assembly was a gathering of the whole Fra- 
ternity, or so many of them as chose to attend. As 
there were no permanent Lodges, each brother rep- 
resented his own interest at the General Assembly, 
and the legislation must necessarily have been of the 
most primitive character. When, however, the Grand 
Lodge was established, and Lodges became perma- 
nent organizations, under authority of Warrants issu- 
ing from the supreme body, the general powers which 
had previously been exercised by individuals, were 
merged in the Lodges, and their powers were in turn 
circumscribed by delegation of a portion of their 
rights to the superior authority of the Grand Lodge, 
so that the individual sovereignty may now, in general 
terms, be said to be only exercised in regard to can- 
didates for initiation or adjoining, in the selection of 
officers, and in instructing them for their government 
in Grand Lodge. In those days, too, the Grand 
Lodge reserved the right to confer the degrees of 
Fellow Craft and Master Mason, the applications for 
which, as the Fraternity increased in numbers and 

is concerned. Their origin and transactions are, however, involved 
in a great deal of mystery, which it is not in our power to clear 
up. We are not writing history, and, therefore, only speak in a 
general sense. 



new Lodges were formed, becoming too numerous 
for its capacity, it was obliged to relieve itself of the 
burden, by empowering the Lodges to confer the 
whole three degrees, and confining itself to the func- 
tions now exercised by Grand Lodges. 

The result of this change has been, that in all 
Lodges deriving their existence from the English 
system, as ours do, Master Masons have taken the 
place formerly occupied by Apprentices, though in 
jurisdictions where the Scottish or Ancient and Ac- 
cepted Lite prevails, the change is not so manifest ; 
Apprentices in those jurisdictions still participating 
in all the business of the Lodge, except conferring 
the two superior degrees, and even holding office. 

Lodges are, therefore, now composed of Entered 
Apprentices, Eellow Crafts and Master Masons, and 
the latter may be divided into two classes — affiliated 
and non-affiliated. The officers are chosen from the 
affiliated Master Masons, because they alone are in 
reality members of the Lodge ; but, as we have al- 
ready spoken of the officers, we shall be understood 
as in this chapter referring particularly to what are 
termed “floor members:” that is, Masons not hold- 
ing any office, or, in military parlance, “the rank 
and file.” 

As there are peculiarities attached to each class, 
we shall give each a separate consideration. 





The name applied to the brother who has received 
the first degree of Masonry, appears to signify that 
he is one who has entered the Fraternity, but only 
in the character of a novice or apprentice ; and such 
is in truth his present status . The profane who seeks 
admission may be said to be a petitioner ; during his 
initiation, he is a candidate ; and when the initiation 
is completed, he is an Entered Apprentice. In the 
Old Regulations, initiation is held to be synonymous 
with making a Mason — that is, an Apprentice ; and 
the rules that apply to the makings , as they are term- 
ed, refer only to the first degree : thus, the rule that 
a Lodge may not make more than five new brethren 
at the same time, means that not more than five per- 
sons may be initiated at the same meeting. The 
term “ making ” is never applied to the other degrees, 
in which the candidate is said to be passed or raised, 
as the case may be. While, therefore, initiation 
makes a man a Mason, it only confers upon him a 
part of the rights and benefits of the Lodge, the full 
privileges being reserved to the Master Masons. 

An Entered Apprentice, not being a member, is 
not required to pay dues, and cannot make any claim 
upon the Lodge treasury ; nor is his family, should 
he die before advancement, entitled to claim relief, 
as in the case of a member. 



He may visit his own Lodge whenever opened on 
the first degree, but he has no voice or vote in the 
proceedings, nor can he serve on committees or hold 

He cannot travel masonically, nor visit other 
Lodges, because he is not in possession of the means 
of making himself known as a member in good stand- 
ing. Apprentices are sometimes allowed to visit 
other Lodges than their own, when accompanied and 
vouched by a Master Mason ; but the practice is rep- 
rehensible, and ought not to be allowed. Instruction 
is due him in his own Lodge, and he should seek and 
find it there before going abroad. 

He cannot, in case of death, be interred with the 
formalities of the institution ; neither can he be al- 
lowed to take part in the procession on such occa- 
sions, the Lodge, when convened for that purpose, 
being always opened on the third or Master’s degree. 

He is particularly cautioned against entering into 
argument with the uninitiated, because, from his 
slight knowledge, he is unable to speak correctly of 
the society, and, in the heat of debate, may assert 
that which has no existence in fact. 

He has the right to apply for instruction in the 
degree which has been conferred upon him, that, in 
due time, he may be prepared to advance another 
step in his profession. 



He has the right to apply for the next or Fellow 
Craft degree,* but it does not follow that the Lodge 
is obliged to grant the request ; for, in that case, the 
body could exercise no discrimination, and the rule 
which exacts suitable proficiency before advancement 
would be void. It is, therefore, the custom, when an 
Apprentice applies for the next higher degree, to 
require him to submit to an examination, either in 
open lodge or before a committee named for the pur- 
pose, that it may be known that he is prepared, by a 
knowledge of the degree already conferred, for ad- 
vancement to another. "When such examination is 
satisfactory, it is usual for the Lodge to express its 
willingness to advance him by a secret ballot, wherein 
one negative vote rejects him, without, however, af- 
fecting his standing as an Entered Apprentice. It is 
simply a refusal to allow him to advance, but in no 
wise interferes with his right to apply again. 

We have known cases where, on the application of 
an Entered Apprentice for advancement, the negative 
ballot has been held to be an absolute rejection, as 
in the case of a profane, but there is a wide difference 
between the two. The question, on the ballot for 
advancement, is not whether the candidate shall be 
made a Mason, for that he already is, but simply 

* Among French Masons, this is technically called “applying 
for higher wages.” 



whether he shall receive a higher degree, and* 
unless cause be shown to the contrary, an expres- 
sion of opinion by the Lodge as to the proficiency 
already made. If a black ball appear, then some 
brother thinks the candidate has not sufficiently pro- 
gressed in knowledge to be advanced, which opinion 
may be changed on another examination. But if it 
be held that such a ballot is an absolute rejection, 
then a Mason is condemned and executed — so to 
speak — without any semblance of a trial, without any 
charge being made, and without any proof being 
adduced. No such doctrine can be entertained. If 
there are reasons, other than want of proficiency, or, 
in other words, reasons affecting the moral character 
of the Apprentice, then, as a Mason, he has a right 
to a fair trial, that he may, if possible, exculpate him- 
self, or, in the event of his failure to do so, that he 
may be placed in such position as will not only pre- 
vent his advancement, but forbid the exercise of his 
rights even as an Entered Apprentice. We say, then, 
that an Apprentice is entitled to a trial, but it must 
be understood that the trial is to be had before Mas- 
ter Masons, acting as a committee, that the accused 
may be present, and present his defence ; the final 
decision will, however, be pronounced by the Lodge, 
opened in the third degree, where the Apprentice 
cannot enter. 


Following this, is the right to appeal to the Grand 
Lodge for a review of the proceedings ; for however 
limited the rights of an Entered Apprentice may be, 
he must be allowed their full enjoyment, and the use 
of all lawful means he may deem essential to their 
maintainance. Clearly, the right of appeal, after 
trial, is one that cannot be denied him. 

In case of the removal of an Apprentice beyond 
the jurisdiction of the Lodge in which he was ini- 
tiated, and on the expression of his wish to receive 
the remaining degrees at his new place of residence, 
the mother-lodge may furnish him a certificate, set- 
ting forth the fact of his regular initiation, together 
with its consent that he be advanced in the Lodge 
he may select. 

In conclusion, it should be stated that in some 
Grand Lodge jurisdictions, laws prevail which are 
not in accordance with the views here given : in those 
jurisdictions, the local rule must be obeyed ; but such 
cases are exceptions to the general law. 


In former times, as will be seen by reference to the 
Ancient Charges and Regulations, Fellow Crafts were 
capable of being chosen Wardens of a Lodge, and 
even, at one time, Grand Master. That was when 
the majority of the Fraternity were Apprentices ; but 



when the right to confer the second and third degrees 
was ceded to the Lodges by the Grand Lodge, and 
Master Masons took the place of the Apprentices, the 
rights previously enjoyed by Fellow Craft Masons 
disappeared, and they may now be said to have no 
rights beyond those of Apprentices, except that of 
applying for the third degree. They, therefore, occupy 
the same relation to a Master Mason that an Appren- 
tice does to a Fellow Craft. They have the same 
disabilities as Apprentices, and are entitled to the 
same immunities. They are required to make suit- 
able proficiency, and to serve some time before they 
can be raised to the degree of Master Mason. 

The interval required to elapse between the de- 
grees is not definitely, or rather not uniformly, settled. 
Some Grand Lodges require a month’s probation 
between each degree; others more; some regulate 
the interval by “ due proficiency.” The Grand Lodge 
of New York requires proficiency, and that at 
least four weeks shall elapse between initiation and 
raising. In England the rule is twenty-eight days 
between each degree. It may, therefore, be said to 
be a matter of local regulation, as it certainly is sub- 
ject to the control of the Grand Master, who may by 
his dispensation abbreviate, or entirely abrogate it. 




Masons of the third degree of Ancient Craft Ma- 
sonry now constitute the body of the Fraternity. 
They make up our Lodges, perform their labors, and 
contribute the means for paying their current ex- 
penses, as well as the demands of needy brethren, 
their widows and orphans. Their duties comprise 
the various requirements of the institution, and they 
are, in their generation, the custodians and conserv- 
ators of the trust bequeathed by the fathers, which, 
in due time, they will leave to their sons, and thus 
perpetuate the institution while there shall remain a 
need for laborers in the cause of human progress. 
In view of the weighty responsibilities of Master 
Masons, it is proper that they should understand 
their rights and privileges, which we now proceed to 

The first right of a Master Mason is that of mem- 
bership, which is of two kinds — actual and honorary. 
By actual membership is understood regular affilia- 
tion with a Lodge, either as the result of having been 
initiated, passed, and raised therein ; by acceptance, 
or affiliation after having been previously a member 
of some other Lodge, or by having been a member 
of a Lodge under dispensation, and remaining there 
after the warrant issues from the Grand Lodge. 



It is always understood that when a person peti- 
tions for initiation in a Lodge, it is with the inten- 
tion of becoming a member (unless the contrary be 
expressed), and therefore when the third degree has 
been conferred, no further ceremony is requisite save 
that of the candidate signing the by-laws, thus re- 
cording his willingness to assume his portion of the 
duties of Masonry, on condition that he be entitled 
to all the rights and benefits that accrue to members 
in good standing. This is the first method of obtain- 
ing membership. The second is when a Mason de- 
sires to change his membership from one Lodge to 
another ; he withdraws or dimits from his old Lodge 
and petitions the new one to receive him into fellow- 
ship. This petition takes the usual course ; a com- 
mittee of investigation is named, and on their report 
a ballot is had, which, if favorable,* admits the pe- 
titioner to membership, on the condition of the fee 
as provided by the by-laws, and the appending his 
signature to that instrument. We digress here a 
moment to say, that among Masons in continental 
Europe the act of affiliation is always accompanied 

* We have already remarked, in a previous chapter, that the 
ballot for an affiliating Mason differs from that for a profane in 
this, that if unfavorable his standing is not thereby affected. He 
is just as competent to petition the same Lodge, or another, after 
rejection as before, and that residence has nothing to do with the 
application unless ther > be a local regulation on the subject. 



by appropriate ceremonies. The affiliating brother 
is required to reuew his covenant of fealty lo the 
constitution of the Grand Lodge, and to the regula- 
tions of the subordinate to which he is about to be- 
come attached. He is then introduced to the breth- 
ren by name, official announcement of his affiliation 
is made, and he is saluted as a member of the Lodge. 
The ceremony, though brief, is one that has always 
favorably impressed us, and we submit it to the con- 
sideration of the brethren. The third method of 
obtaining membership is where a given number of 
Master Masons petition the Grand Master to be 
formed into a Lodge under dispensation. Should 
their prayer be granted, it is the general rule that 
they must then withdraw from the old Lodge in 
which they had previously been members, member- 
ship in the new one accruing to them by their con- 
stitution under a warrant from the Grand Lodge, the 
risk of which they of course accept. In New York 
the rule is, that when Master Masons petition for a 
dispensation they must pay up their dues to the date 
of such petition and furnish satisfactory evidence of 
that fact to the Grand Master at the time of peti- 
tioning. If the dispensation be granted, the mem- 
bership in the old Lodge remains in abeyance, and 
it is optional with the petitioners either to continue 
in the n tw Lodge when the warrant is granted, or to 



resume their membership in the old one. This rule 
is evidently fair and commendable, as it avoids the 
danger of setting men adrift who take part in the 
formation of new Lodges, in case the warrant of con- 
stitution does not follow the dispensation, and saves 
them the trouble and expense of a reaffiliation, in 
case they do not think proper to continue in the new 

Honorary membership, as generally understood, is 
the somewhat modern custom of conferring nominal 
membership on a brother for services rendered the 
Fraternity in general, or the Lodge in particular. As 
it is the law that a brother can only be an active 
member of one Lodge at the same time, and as only 
active members can participate in the transactions 
of the Lodge so far as to vote, hold office, serve on 
committees, etc., it follows that honorary membership 
when conferred is but the expression of a compli- 
ment, and that the honorary member acquires no 
positive right whatever. They are generally allowed 
to participate in discussion, but this is only an act of 
courtesy rarely denied to any visiting brother who 
signifies a wish to be heard. 

There is, however, in some jurisdictions a kind of 
honorary membership which is positive and tangible 
in its operation. It is where, by the regulations of 
the Grand Lodge, a poor brother, unable to pay the 



adjoining fee, may be received by any Lodge with- 
out such fee, as an honorary member — by previous 
notice and unanimous ballot — and may be excused 
by the Lodge from the payment of dues. In this 
case the member is entitled to all the privileges of 
the Lodge, without being subjected to any of its pe- 
cuniary burdens. 

From the right of membership follows the right to 
visit masonically any regular Lodge. There is con- 
siderable difference of opinion as to whether this is 
an absolute or limited right. The present Grand 
Master of England, and some authorities in this 
country, insist upon making the right to visit a posi- 
tive one ; the only condition being, that the visiting 
brother shall produce satisfactory evidence of his 
good standing in the Lodge from which he hails. In 
this country, whatever the theory may be, the gen- 
eral practice is, however, to make the right a limited 
one. And we certainly must say that we can ima- 
gine no good reason for any other course. It is true 
that Lodges are in a general sense but the subdivi- 
sions of one universal family, but it must be admitted 
that the members of any particular Lodge have 
rights in it superior to the rights of Masons belong- 
ing to other Lodges, and when a member objects to 
the entrance of a visitor, his objection is, and ought 
to be, of greater weight than the claims of the visit- 



or ; for if this were not the case the sitting member 
might be obliged to leave the Lodge, and thus be 
temporarily deprived of all his rights therein, at the 
order of a brother having equal rights in the Fra- 
ternity but not in the Lodge. Moreover, it is the 
duty of the Master to preserve harmony among the 
brethren composing his Lodge ; but if he were 
obliged to admit a visitor whose presence would, to 
his certain knowledge, disturb that harmony and em- 
barrass the work, then he would be deprived of one 
of the means of performing an essential duty ; for 
peace and harmony are the support of our institution 
in a greater degree than in any other. Again, if the 
right to visit were a positive one, then Masons who 
believe that the landmark requiring candidates for 
Masonry to be free-born is still in force "would be 
obliged to sit with a certain class of the initiates of 
a Grand Lodge which has unblushingly removed 
that landmark. Fortunately, however, the question 
is settled by the admitted prerogative of the Master 
to control the admission of visitors by withholding 
that permission, without which they can neither “pass 
nor repass.”* 

* Dr. Oliyee holds the right to visit to be absolute, but in the 
same breath admits that, under certain circumstances, visitors 
ought not to be admitted, or if present may be requested to with- 
draw, which sufficiently demonstrates the limited nature of the 


In immediate connection with Masonic visitation 
is the subject of certificates or diplomas .* Certifi- 
cates being understood to emanate from a Lodge, 
and diplomas from a Grand Lodge. There can be 
no doubt of the right of a Master Mason in good 
standing to furnish himself with a written proof of 
that standing, vouched for by tho seal of his Lodge, 
or preferably his Grand Lodge, but little or no 
weight can be given to such documents in the exam- 
ination of a strange brother. They may be received 
as collateral evidence, but the true dependence is the 
Tyler’s OB., the due trial and strict examination of a 
competent and careful committee, who will omit no 
question that ought to be asked, and who will accept 
no equivocal answers ; acting on the maxim that it 
is better that ninety-nine good brethren should be 
refused than that one impostor should be admitted. 

The right of avouchment is a most important one, 
and one in the exercise of which too much caution 
cannot well be exercised. There are three rules in 
regard to avouching, which may be thus stated : 

1st. If you have been present in a regular Lodge 
of Master Masons with the brother for whom you 
vouch. 2nd. If a brother w T hom you know to be a 
Master Mason introduces you to another in person, 
and says I have sat with this brother ; or, 3d. If you, 

See Appendix. 



as one of a committee appointed by the Master of 
your Lodge, have carefully examined a brother, then 
you may lawfully Touch for him, and your avoucli- 
ment may be accepted by the Lodge. As a general 
rule, the personal examination of brethren casually 
meeting should not be accepted ; for though there 
are undoubtedly many brethren just as competent to 
examine a stranger in any proper place as well as 
they could in the Lodge-room, yet the great majority 
are not thus competent, and it is therefore unsafe to 
accept such examinations and thus approve of the 
practice. Every Master has agreed in the most sol- 
emn manner that “ no visitors shall be received in 
his Lodge without due examination and producing 
proper vouchers of their having been initiated in a 
regular Lodge,” and he will prove faithless to his 
vow if he allow the somewhat loose system of mod- 
ern avouchment to prevail under his administration. 
The simple announcement of “ Brother so and so 
vouched for” is a very frail warrant for the admission 
of a person we have never seen or heard of before to 
a participation in our mysteries. We should know 
who is his sponsor, and on what grounds he assumes 
that responsibility. While it is the right of every 
Master Mason in good standing to vouch for an- 
other, on proper grounds, it is equally the duty of 
the Master to be satisfied that this important privi- 



lege lias not been lightly exercised, before he accepts 
the voucher. There are so many ways in which tho 
best int&itioned brother may be deceived that thero 
should prevail a wholesome caution in accepting any 
but the most irrefragible testimony. Thus, the bro- 
ther who offers to respond for another should know, 
beyond all question, that the one he vouches for is 
really a member of the Fraternity, in good standing, 
and his knowledge must be obtained, not from an or- 
dinary conversation nor a loose and careless inquiry, 
but from strict trial, due examination, or lawful Ma- 
sonic information, which one of the unwritten land- 
marks require as prerequisites to avouchment. The 
sixth subdivision of the sixth of the Ancient Charges 
provides that — “You are cautiously to examine a 
strange brother, in such a manner as prudence shall 
direct you, that you may not be imposed upon by an 
ignorant false-pretender, whom you are to reject with 
contempt and derision, and beware of giving him 
any hints of knowledge.” Nothing can lawfully be 
taken for granted, nor should shortness of memory 
be suffered to excuse the filling up of an inconvenient 
blank. If the would-be-visitor has paid so little heed 
to his first instructions, or so little attention to the 
claims of the Fraternity, as to become rusty, he should 
go where he is known to obtain his information, and 
be disappointed if he expect to pick it up from an 



examining brother or committee. In this we would 
be understood as referring to those important mat- 
ters that are indispensible, and not to some of the 
minor details that only a bright Mason could be ex- 
pected to have at his finger-ends. The particulars 
of an examination cannot, of course, be detailed here, 
but we may say, in general terms, that the errors or 
inadvertencies of the visitor should not be corrected, 
for that would be giving him the hints we are warned 
against. With an aged brother, or one who has long 
been debarred the privileges of the Craft by journeys 
or sickness, patience should be exercised. If he has 
ever received the true light, the spark, though dimmed 
will eventually brighten up by his own unaided en- 
deavors ; and one such trial will always serve to re- 
mind him of the necessity of keeping his treasures 
where he can find them when wanted. But it is not 
so much from any carelessness in regard to examina- 
tions that we have to apprehend danger, as from the 
uncertain application of what is termed “ lawful in- 
formation.” The Tyler’s voucher is very often an 
uncertain guide ; for among the numbers that pass 
his guard he may be deceived by great similarity of 
personal appearance, or from a conviction that he, 
having seen the person somewhere, that place must 
have been in a Lodge ; or the Tyler may have known 
that a person was a member of a Lodge, but not that 



he had been put under discipline. Other instances 
might be named, but they will readily suggest them- 
selves to the brethren. Examinations conducted by 
an inexperienced or unskillful brother can afford no 
just grounds for an avoucliment, because he cannot 
be supposed to have the ability of detecting error, or 
the judgment necessary to avoid conveying informa- 
tion which should be withheld. If a brother vouch 
for another on the ground of having sat with him in 
Lodge, he should also be able to state positively that 
it was a Master s Lodge, duly and legally constituted, 
and not a Lodge of Entered Apprentices or Fellow 
Crafts. Written vouchers, though indited by your 
nearest friend, are of no positive value ; they can- 
not lawfully contain any of those things which it is 
indispensible the visitor should know, and can afford 
him no assistance when put to the ordeal of strict 
examination. Personal avouchment from one bro- 
ther to another may be accepted, but no further ; 
and then only when the brother vouched for is in 
presence of the one giving the information and the 
one receiving it ; and then it must be given with the 
intent of being used Masonically, and be full, explicit, 
positive, and based on actual knowledge of a Masonic 
character ; but when Brother A informs Brother B 
that Brother C told him that Brother D was a Ma- 
son, the information becomes too loose to have a law- 



ful value, and must be discarded. Finally, the safest 
and best rule for all concerned is for the visiting 
brother to be at the hall half an hour before the time 
fixed for Lodge opening, that he may have abundant 
time to prove his qualifications by the scrutiny of a 
regular examination. 

The right to a Masonic trial by his peers is to the 
Mason, as to the citizen, the inviolable safeguard of 
all his other rights, and it is therefore an unchange- 
able law that the recognised punishments of Masonry 
can only be inflicted after a regular trial, during 
which, and until the final verdict is pronounced by 
the Lodge, he is entitled to the presumption of inno- 
cence, and remains in good standing. The method 
of proceeding in Masonic trials will form the subject 
of a separate and special consideration, and we 
therefore in this place only consider the right of 
every Mason to the benefit of such proceedings when 
by his conduct, or by the imputation of wrong, he 
becomes liable to impeachment. The enjoyment of 
the rights that inure to a Mason is that which dis- 
tinguishes him from the profane, and entitles him to 
consideration among his brethren. Mere worldly 
justice, much more then, the sacred ties of the bro- 
therhood, require that the penalties for immoral or 
unmasonic conduct should only be inflicted after 
trial, in which the charges shall have been sustained 



by ample proof, in which full opportunity shall have 
been afforded the accused to make his defence, and 
which proceedings shall have been approved by a 
majority of the brethren in open Lodge. The peers 
of a Master Mason are all other Master Masons in 
good standing in his Lodge, and therefore a Lodge 
has original jurisdiction for the purpose of trying 
any of its members save the Master, whose peers, 
while he remains in office, they are not, and whom, 
therefore, they cannot try. 

The natural sequence of the right to a fair and 
impartial trial is the right of appeal. Human na- 
ture is fallible, and men, however just their inten- 
tions, are liable to err ; and it has therefore been 
provided that in all trials the accused brother shall 
have the right, when the Lodge has pronounced 
sentence, to appeal to the final adjudication of the 
Grand Lodge. The foundation of this right is found 
in the Sixth Charge, in these words : “ If any com- 
plaint be brought, the brother found guilty shall 
stand to the award and determination of the Lodge, 
who are the proper and competent judges of all 
such controversies, unless you carry it by appeal to 
the Grand Lodge * * The requisites of an 
appeal (unless otherwise provided by the local reg- 
ulations) are : 1st. That the appellant shall notify 
the opposite party of his intention to appeal. 2d. 



That a copy of all the proceedings in the case, 
attested by the secretary and Lodge seal, shall be 
forwarded to the Grand Lodge without delay. 3d. 
That the appellant furnish the Grand Lodge, through 
the Grand Secretary, with a full and clear statement 
of the grounds of his appeal ; and 4th. That a copy 
of this document be furnished to the adverse party. 
When a case is thus brought before the Grand 
Lodge, it is usually referred to a committee, who 
examine the papers, hear explanations from either 
or both parties, and report their judgment as to 
whether the proceedings ought to be reversed or 
confirmed, and on that report the Grand Lodge de- 
cides. Proceedings thus conducted are strictly ap- 
pellate, but it is held that the Grand Lodge, being 
the supreme tribunal, may in its discretion assume 
original jurisdiction, hear new evidence, and make a 
new verdict. There is no doubt but that many Grand 
Lodges do thus act, but we must say that the power 
is one that ought not to be exercised except in an 
extreme case. The safer and just plan would seem 
to be, when there is manifest error in the proceed- 
ings, when the verdict is not in accordance with 
the evidence, or when the punishment awarded is 
too lenient or too severe, to send the case back for 
a new trial, with such recommendations as it may 
be proper to make, to the Lodge, who are “the 



proper and competent judges in all such contro- 
versies/ ’ 

Pending the appeal, the brother found guilty must 
submit to the award of the brethren, so far as the 
exercise of any of his Masonic rights, save that of 
appeal, is concerned, because the Lodge having ori- 
ginal jurisdiction had the right to pronounce sen- 
tence, which must therefore be in effect until abso- 
lutely reversed by the superior authority of the Grand 
Lodge. It may be objected, that in a case of defi- 
nite suspension, say three or six months, the appel- 
lant would actually suffer the entire punishment be- 
fore an appeal which might reverse the sentence 
could be heard in Grand Lodge ; but of this there 
is no real danger, for it cannot be doubted that dur- 
ing the recess of the Grand Lodge the Grand Mas- 
ter has ample power to entertain an appeal, and or- 
der a new trial if found necessary, or grant a stay of 
proceedings until the assembling of the Grand 

It is held, in a majority of the Grand Lodges of 
this country, that where a Lodge has passed ^sentence 
of indefinite suspension or expulsion — two names for 
the same thing, in effect — though the Grand Lodge 
may, on appeal, reverse the sentence for irregularity 
or want of proof, it cannot and does not by such 
reversal reinstate the member in his Lodge. This 



proposition is so diametrically opposed to common 
justice and common sense, <4hat we trust to be ex- 
cused for devoting a page or two to its considera- 

The object of the review by the Grand Lodge is to 
ascertain by impartial investigation that the pro- 
ceedings have been regular, and that the finding is 
warranted by the evidence ; and until this conclusion 
is arrived at, the adjudication is not complete, and 
the accused brother remains so far connected with 
the institution (taking the supposition that the ver- 
dict was one of expulsion) as to have the right, by 
his appeal, to this final determination of the matter 
by the supreme tribunal. If the verdict of expul- 
sion pronounced by the Lodge at once severs the 
connection of the individual with his Lodge and with 
the Fraternity, then all his Masonic rights are at 
once abrogated, and he could not enjoy the right of 
appeal, which is one of them. But the verdict of 
the Lodge is, and can only be, conditional, because 
the right of appeal is inalienable, and no brother can 
be deprived of it till his case has been finally re- 
viewed and decided by the court of last resort. 
Hence, when a new trial is granted, a new appeal 
follows, just as if no previous trial had occurred. If, 
however, we admit the contrary view, then Masonic 
justice is a mockery, and the form of trial a solemn 



farce ; for if tlie reversal of the entire proceedings 
below does not place the brother in precisely the 
same situation he occupied before the charges were 
preferred, then all that is necessary to be done when 
a Lodge desires to get rid of a member is to trump 
up charges against him, declare him expelled, and, 
though the charges be false as the Father of lies, he 
is deprived of his membership beyond remedy ; and 
if the Grand Lodge, when upon examination it finds 
that the charges are unsustained, cannot reinstate 
him in all his rights, or rather cannot declare (and 
enforce its declaration) that he has not been deprived 
of any right, then it is lawful to vacate a brother’s 
membership at will, and the right of appeal is no 
right, since it cannot procure the administration of 
the simplest form of justice. The advocates of this 
doctrine endeavor to justify it by saying that every 
Lodge is the judge as to who shall be its members, 
and that the Grand Lodge has no power to force any 
of its subordinates to accept a member against its 
will. As a general proposition, this is true ; but in 
the case of a reversal of judgment the Grand Lodge 
does nothing like forcing a member upon the Lodge ; 
it simply says : “ We have examined your record ; 
we find your proceedings wrong, and that the evi- 
dence you have furnished us does not establish the 
charges made ; they are therefore null and void 



and the result is to restore the state of things that 
existed before proceedings were commenced ; and 
hence the brother continues the membership, of which, 
by the reversal of the sentence, it is declared he had 
not been deprived. 

Appeals from other acts and decisions of the Lodge 
besides those relating to trials are sometimes taken. 
Appeals from the decision of the Master in the chair 
are likewise to be made to the Grand Lodge or Grand 
Master— usually to the latter, or to his deputy, for 
the reason that they generally involve some point or 
principle which it is necessary to the harmony of the 
Lodge should be decided without delay. This ap- 
peal is the safeguard of the member against any ex- 
ercise of arbitrary authority by the Master, and the 
“ check” by which he is restrained from the use of 
his high prerogatives to the injury of the Lodge or 
the brethren. 

The right of relief , when in circumstances of des- 
titution and distress, is one of the most ancient and 
well-established rights of the individual Mason. It 
existed before the constitution of permanent Lodges, 
and before the institution of the Grand Lodge. It 
has in modern times been modified in the case of 
non-affiliated Masons, but otherwise remains as in 
the beginning ; for a Mason has a claim not only to 
the benevolence of the particular Lodge of which he 



is a member, but upon that of the whole Fraternity 
wherever dispersed ; a claim, too, that after his death 
inures to his widow and children. Belief as now 
given may be said to be of two kinds : personal, that 
is, donations from individual resources to relieve a 
destitute brother ; and, from the funds of the Lodge 
or Grand Lodge, for a like purpose. In the present 
day, when there is a Lodge in every village in the 
land, it appears to us that the claim upon individual 
members ought not to be enforced ; for the tax is in 
many instances beyond the ability of the brother, es- 
pecially if he be well known, or live in the vicinity of 
persons inimical to the institution. Money contrib- 
uted to the Lodge fund is deposited for the very 
purpose of relief, and every contributor ought to be 
allowed to refer applicants to it, unless, of course, 
where he is persuaded that it is a duty to give from 
his own pocket, as well as from the Lodge treasury. 
"We speak on this topic from an extended personal 
experience, and from actual knowledge that the be- 
nevolent feature of the Masonic association has been, 
and will be, liable to great abuse ; for on it has growm 
that unsightly parasite Masonic vagrancy. To a su- 
perficial observer, it would seem that our system was 
expressly intended to provide against mendicancy in 
any shape, and that our professions of benevolence 
are but hollow shams, while we allow our own kin- 



dred and people to fall into the vicious state of pro- 
fessional beggars ; but those who are in the habit of 
looking beyond the surface need not be told, that 
Masonry does not pretend to be an eleemosynary es- 
tablishment ; that it is rather a system of morality, 
one of the duties of w T hich is, to relieve the distresses 
of its worthy adherents, and those of their widows 
and orphans ; or, in other words, that charity, or the 
giving of alms, is but an adjunct to other and more 
important duties. Saith the law : “ If thy brother be 
waxen poor, and fallen into decay with thee, then 
thou shalt relieve him ; yea, though he be a stranger 
or a sojourner ; that he may live with thee.” (Levi- 
ticus xxv., 35.) And it truly describes the real pur- 
pose of Masonic donations. For this purpose our 
members cheerfully impose upon themselves a tax 
which, as citizens, they would not submit to without 
murmuring, and the proceeds of which they give with 
a liberal hand, not only to the “ brother waxen poor” 
among us, and those who have a natural right to ask 
in his name, but also, in too many cases, to those 
who neither have, nor ought to have, a claim upon 
anything but the way to the door. 

This is a defect of our present administration of 
charity that is daily working evil not only to the 
Craft, but to the recipients themselves ; for we hold 
that money given to the idle and viciously disposed, 



not only does wrong to the giver, but also to the re- 
cipients, as they are thus encouraged not only to 
continue a life of idleness, but to exercise their wits 
for new methods of imposing on the too credulous 
stewards of a fund intended for a far different purpose. 
The practice of benevolence is often and strongly in- 
culcated in our ritual, in monitors, and in all publi- 
cations which undertake to treat of Masonry; but it 
is in almost every case taken literally, and without 
consideration as to what true benevolence is. We 
say that the mere giving of money is not charity, for 
charity implies love, and requires discrimination. 
Our gifts, unlike the gentle dew of heaven, should 
not fall alike on the just and the unjust ; for vice, 
# like noxious weeds, grows rampant enough without 
fertilizing. Add this consideration : that every dol- 
lar misgiven to an impostor is two dollars taken from 
the true claimant, and a sufficient reason will be 
found for the exercise of greater caution than seems 
to prevail among the Lodges of our country. While, 
therefore, we would applaud the liberal assistance 
given to those Jcnoivn to be worthy, we would equally 
condemn that loose giving that merely requires the 
presentation of a doubtful paper and a plausible 
story to unloose the purse-strings. We do not speak 
unadvisedly when we thus characterise a process 
vastly too common to be either denied or sufferedLo 



continue without expostulation. We do not for a 
moment call in question the intention of those who 
so freely give the Lodge means to applicants, but we 
warn them that they cannot thus discharge the trust 
reposed in them, nor be certain that in thus giving 
they are in reality assisting the meritorious; that, 
on the contrary, they thus in many instances furnish 
the means for idleness and dissipation, and in the 
same proportion deprive themselves of the pleasure 
they might otherwise enjoy in giving more generous- 
ly to those whose right is undisputed. 

We hold that even in the latter case there is more 
than money required in the fulfillment of our duty. 
Money will often cut the knot of a difficulty which 
it were better to spend a little time in untying. A 
word in season to the desponding, or of encourage- 
ment to those honestly striving, may produce more 
lasting benefit than any amount of money could do 
without them. “ Words fitly spoken are like apples 
of gold in pictures of silver.” How often have such 
words enlivened the gloom of affliction and converted 
the night of despair into the morning of joy ! How 
have they reclaimed the wanderer from the paths of 
vice, and shielded the unfortunate from the shafts of 
malice and oppression ! *Yet how often is their value 
lost, and conscience silenced, by adding an extra dol- 
lar or so to the appropriation ? 



To be entitled, therefore, to ask relief, a Mason 
must not only be in real need, but he must be worthy 
and under the general ruling, a member of some 
Lodge ; for one of the disabilities of non-affiliated 
Masons is, that they have no claim on the benevo- 
lence of the Fraternity. Where the application is 
made by the widow, or in behalf of orphan children, 
it is required that proper documentary evidence be 
furnished that the applicants are entitled to claim 
relief in the name of a deceased brother. There can 
be no question that when the widow of a deceased 
Mason marries a second time she loses all claims 
upon the Fraternity accruing from the membership 
of her first husband. The minor children are, how r - 
ever, regarded as still having a claim. 

In connection with this topic, the establishment of 
Lodges, or Boards of Relief, presents itself ; but as 
their management is purely one of convenience, and 
subject to no law but what the brethren controlling 
them may see proper to enact, it is out of place in 
this Treatise. We, however, warmly approve of and 
earnestly recommend them to the Craft of all large 
cities and towns, as having proved the best safe- 
guards against impostors, and the best defence of the 
worthy distressed. 

The right to withdraiv from membership, or, as it 
is technically called, to dimit, is one that leads to 



great differences of opinion. The law of 1721, that 
“No set or number of brethren shall withdraw or 
separate themselves from the Lodge in which they 
were made brethren, or were afterwards admitted 
members, unless the Lodge become too numerous,” 
evidently does not apply to the occasional withdrawal 
of individuals, because in addition to the term “ set 
or number of brethren” it is required that the with- 
drawal should only take place when the Lodge be- 
comes too numerous ; that it should be for the pur- 
pose of forming a new Lodge, and that such purpose 
should have the sanction of the Grand Master or his 
Deputy, by the issue of his dispensation to form such 
new Lodge. This was evidently to guard against the 
possibility of a number of the brethren, under the 
influence of sudden passion, withdrawing from a 
Lodge, and perhaps breaking it up. And though the 
same purpose might be accomplished by the with- 
drawing of one individual after another, there is at 
all events a better opportunity for reason and a sense 
of duty to resume their sway, than if the majority 
should be allowed to dimit at once. This is, how- 
ever, an extreme case, hardly likely to occur, because 
the majority would have the right to control the af- 
fairs of the Lodge, and direct its legislation to suit 
their own views. 

We refer to the right of an individual Mason, fox 



reasons of his own, to sever his connection with the 
Lodge of which he may be a member, and we fail to 
discover any general law to prevent it, except that 
the dimitting member shall be clear of the books — 
that is, have paid all indebtedness to the Lodge, and 
that there be no charges against him pending at the 
time of such dimission. Such has been the custom 
in this country from the the first introduction of Ma- 
sonry into it till within a few years. Various attempts 
have been made to put a stop to the evil of non-affil- 
iation ; first, by attaching disabilities to that condi- 
tion, and then by requiring the withdrawing member 
to obtain the consent of his Lodge, in addition to the 
requirements above stated. The argument is, that 
as the consent of the Lodge is required for the ad- 
mission of a member, so it should be necessary to 
the severance of that connection. Speaking of this 
argument, a distinguished Craftsman has w r ell said : 
“ The theory here laid dowm may be one which com- 
mends itself to favorable consideration, but I feel 
constrained to say that, in practice, it is not entitled 
to the same regard. I can see no valid reason w T hy 
a brother in good standing, if not a Master or War- 
den, who has discharged all his pecuniary obliga- 
tions to his Lodge, and so long as he leaves members 
enough to form a working Lodge, should not be per- 
mitted to dimit of his own volition, and without tak- 



ing any vote whatever on the subject. Many things 
might be said which would sustain this view, but I 
will only cite a single case. It is impossible to en- 
force the regular attendance of a member of a Lodge 
who has been foiled in his effort to withdraw from it, 
except by the service of a summons upon him previ- 
ously to each communication. Even that compulsory 
process might be evaded by a brother, if he should 
so choose, without making him liable to the infliction 
of any penalty. We will suppose that such a brother 
had conscientious scruples, which, if disclosed, would 
involve the honor of his family, against associating 
with a member of his Lodge ; or suppose any other 
cause to exist, leading to the same result, what be- 
comes the necessary effect of this? The brother 
either suffers his name to be struck from the roll for 
non-payment of dues, or pays dues for privileges 
which he cannot conscientiously enjoy, and avoids 
attendance on his Lodge. Hence it is that the Craft 
loses the services of a good member, and virtually 
puts him out of the pale of association of a Lodge 
which he can call his own, by preventing his affilia- 
tion with one more congenial to his taste, or his 
sense of propriety. I can see no good reason why 
we should not return to the voluntary system, under 
which we very happily worked in years past.”* 

* M. W. John J. Crane, M.D. ; annual address to the Grand 
Lodge of New York, 1863. 



As it is undoubtedly true, that a brother kept in 
affiliation with his Lodge is only a nominal member, 
and can be of no earthly use beyond the amount of 
dues he may contribute, we think, with the brother 
jtist quoted, that the interests of all parties would be 
best served by leaving each member to change his 
affiliation, or even to incur the odium of non-affilia- 
tion, when he can no longer maintain the emulation 
as to who can “ best work” and who “ best agree.” 
But if we admit the right of a brother in good stand- 
ing to withdraw at pleasure, we cannot deny that the 
granting of a certificate of that fact is a legislative 
act which the Lodge may or may not do. Without 
that certificate the brother cannot affiliate elsewhere, 
for it is the general sense of the Craft that no Lodge 
can affiliate a member unless he be able to show that 
he has honorably withdrawn from the Lodge to which 
he last belonged, and that evidence is the dimit.* It 
is therefore most masonic and fraternal that the sev- 
erance of membership should be a matter of mutual 
understanding ; that the brother should understand 
that if he withdraw in the heat of passion, or against 
the sense of the brethren, he incurs the risk of losing 
the document necessary to his admission elsewhere ; 
and, on the other hand, that the Lodge, when a bro- 
ther in good standing desires to withdraw, and a 

See Appendix. 



fraternal remonstrance fails to change his purpose, 
should allow him to consummate his purpose, and 
afford him the requisite facility for an affiliation that 
may be more convenient or agreeable to him. It will 
be understood that where there is a local regulation 
it will necessarily govern any action that may be pro- 
posed or taken. 

Where a vote is taken on an application for a 
dimit, and carried in the affirmative, it cannot be re- 
considered, for the reason that by the announcement 
of its passage the member at once becomes non-affil- 
iated ; and though he might instantly repent of his 
application, he can only regain his lost membership 
by petition and a unanimous ballot in his favor. A 
dimit must be applied for in person, or if in writing, 
then over the proper signature of the brother desir- 
ing it. The act cannot be accomplished through a 
third party, for evident reasons. 

Lastly, a Master Mason who dies in good standing 
has a right to burial with the ancient formalities of 
the institution. The earliest authority we find upon 
this subject is that of Preston, who says : “ No Ma- 
son can be interred with the formalities of the Order 
unless it be at his own special request, communicated 
to the Master of a Lodge of which he died a mem- 
ber ; foreigners and sojourners excepted ; nor unless 
he has been advanced to the third degree of Mason- 



ry, from which restriction there can be no exception. 
Fellow Crafts or Apprentices are not entitled to the 
funeral obsequies.” As the first edition of Preston’s 
Illustrations, from which this extract is taken, was 
published in 1772, it is questionable whether the cer- 
emony at funerals, and the regulations concerning 
them, were very much older than Preston himself. 
They are now, however, universally obeyed, and the 
exhortation at the grave, written by him, is substan- 
tially that in use throughout the United States. It 
is now held that none but affiliated Masons, except 
foreigners or sojourners, have a right to masonic 
burial ; and hence, that non-affiliated Masons cannot 
be thus interred, which is in accordance with the 
regulation quoted ; for the request must have been 
preferred to the Lodge of which the brother died a 
member. In the case of a member who dies in good 
standing, but without making such request, the fu- 
neral honors are generally accorded to his remains 
at the request of his family or near relatives. 

It was a rule in Preston’s time, that there should 
be no funeral or other public procession in the badges 
and insignia of masonry, without a dispensation had 
first been obtained from the Grand Master or his 
Deputy ; and the avowed object of the regulation 
was to prevent the too frequent appearance of the 
brethren in public, and that, too, on occasions not 



likely to advance the cause of Masonry, or enhance 
its position in the public estimation. For like rea- 
sons a similar rule prevails in nearly every Grand 
Lodge jurisdiction in this country, though the law is 
generally more stringent in large cities than in the 
rural districts, where there is less liability to abuse. 

A proper regard for the proprieties of a funeral 
solemnity requires that the brethren should wear 
dark clothing, and leave at home all Masonic deco- 
rations but plain white aprons, white gloves, and the 
sprig of evergreen. 


By non-affiliated Masons is understood those 
brethren who have received the several degrees of 
symbolic Masonry, but who are not attached to any 
Lodge, which, previous to the revival of 1717, was 
the status of the whole Craft ; when, as we under- 
stand it, Lodges were distinguished by their place 
of meeting : as, those at the Goose and Gridiron, in 
St. Paul’s churchyard ; the Crown, in Parker’s lane, 
near Drury lane ; the Apple-tree Tavern, in Charles 
street, Covent Garden ; the Bummer and Grapes 
Tavern, in Channel-row, Westminster, etc., rather 
than by any permanent or continuous organization, 
and a Mason was a member of the Lodge he hap- 



pened to attend ; but since tliat time it is held that a 
brother ought to belong to some Lodge and be subject 
to its by-laws and the General Regulations. There is, 
however, a large number (comparatively speaking) 
of unaffiliated Masons who are believed to be able to 
bear their proportion of the general burden, but who 
in a great measure escape it by neglecting or refus- 
ing to keep up membership in a Lodge. This is felt 
to be so great an injustice, that in many jurisdictions 
it is called a Masonic crime, and many Grand Lodges 
have sought to punish it as such — attempts which 
have thus far been but moderately successful ; prin- 
cipally because there has been no unity of action or 
sentiment on the question, a result in a great mea- 
sure due to a foolish spirit of exclusiveness, which 
prevents Grand Lodges from mutual consultation and 
action on subjects in which all alike are interested. 
Some of the legislation, too, has been of a character 
to effect the very reverse of what was intended. Men 
will not always be forced to do right ; on the con- 
trary, the very effort to do so produces, in a majority 
of cases, an aggravation of the evil sought to be rem- 

Certain disabilities are, however, now admitted to 
be the consequence of non-affiliation, and Masons 
thus situated are, it is agreed : 

Not entitled to claim relief from the funds of the 
Lodge or Grand Lodge. 



Not entitled to visit any Lodge more than twice 
while they remain non-members. 

Not entitled to join in Masonic processions. 

Not entitled to the honors of Masonic burial. 

They nevertheless remain subject to the general 
rules of the Fraternity, and may be tried and pun- 
ished for an infraction of them by any Lodge within 
the jurisdiction of which they may happen to be. 

They may, when in true and imminent danger, ask 
assistance in the usual method, and a Mason must 
respond, because in such case he cannot stop to ask 
questions, which might also be the case with an ex- 
pelled or suspended brother. 

"Whenever the Craft generally unite in considering 
a non-contributing drone as no Mason, and refuse 
him the privileges of the Lodge, except one visit to 
enable him to select one in which he can affiliate, the 
number will grow less ; but while, as at present, they 
are frequently allowed to visit the same Lodge many 
times, it is probable that the army of those who be- 
grudge the pittance necessary to maintain active 
membership will continue to increase. 




% Iptnal 

If any one were disposed to claim for Masonry, or 
for Masons, anything not rightfully belonging to hu- 
manity, and subject to its frailties and short-comings, 
the capiion of this chapter ought to dispel the illu- 
sion. It is at once an acknowledgment of our falli- 
bility and an assurance that, recognizing the infirmi- 
ties of human nature, we have prepared to deal with 
the erring, not harshly, nor at the behest of arbitrary 
will, but firmly, mercifully, and in the spirit of im- 
partiality ; meting out justice to the guilty without 
fear or favor, but governing our investigations by 
that charitable principle of the common law which 
regards every man as innocent till he is fairly proved 
guilty. This was not always so ; for the period is 
not very far in the past when it was held that, as a 
Mason’s reputation, like that of the Eoman matron, 
should be above suspicion, so the very fact of charges 
being preferred against him was the signal for his 
loss of caste, and he was called to prove his inno- 
cence before his guilt had been established. So mon- 
strous a proposition carried with it its own eondem- 



nation, and in the more just and liberal views that 
now prevail we see that while the world moves Ma- 
sonry moves with it. It is a matter of frequent com- 
plaint, that the administration of the penal laws of 
Masonry is too complicated for the general compre- 
hension, and that, with the aid of a lawyer, even the 
guilty may escape merited punishment. There is 
not, however, sufficient ground for the complaint ; 
for in our somewhat extensive experience in such 
matters we have not met with such a case. "We have 
known instances where the brethren, feeling a moral 
certainty that an accused brother was guilty, have 
murmured because they were not allowed to declare 
him so, in the absence of all legal proof ! And the 
brother acting as counsel has been severely and un- 
justly criticised for standing between his client and 
any such unlawful conclusion. It is a very common 
mistake of men unused to legal proceedings, to adopt 
the convictions of their own minds as to the guilt 
of a brother under charges, without any regard to 
the production of such evidence as would lead a to- 
tally unbiased person to the same conclusion ; and 
these are the ones most likely to regard the forms 
of law as irksome and intricate, because apparently 
delaying a decision to which they arrive without any 
form at all. We need not detain the reader with 
argument to refute so untenable a position, but con- 



tent ourselves with saying, for the sake of many 
good brethren who do not seem to comprehend the 
value of judicial proceedings, that the rights of a 
Mason are sacred ; that he not only has a right to 
their enjoyment, but a claim to the assistance and 
protection of all other Masons in maintaining them ; 
and hence, that he can only be deprived of them on 
the clearest proof, and being afforded every fair op- 
portunity to establish his defence. 

The Penal Code of Masonry has three divisions : 
Masonic Offences, Masonic Trials, and Masonic Pun- 
ishments; connected with which is the subject of 
Restoration. We will notice them in the order here 


The first of the Ancient Charges informs us, that : 
“ A Mason is obliged, by his tenure, to obey the 
moral law and this may be said to be the key to 
all the requirements for the conduct of the brethren. 
The moral law is the first of all laws, because it in- 
cludes the law of God, and to violate one is to vio- 
late both. The rights and benefits of Masonry are 
conferred on a profane, under the belief that he has 
a good moral character and standing in the commu- 
nity, and that the manner of life which has acquired 



such a character for him will be continued when, 
having been admitted to the Fraternity, he shall be- 
come an exemplar of its teachings. It is on this con- 
dition, or as it is technically called, “ tenure,” that 
he is permitted to enter the Temple ; on it that he is 
allowed to enjoy the privileges of the Craft and claim 
its protection when needed ; by his observance of it 
that he can really say that he is a Mason, or that he 
can be qualified to sit in judgment on his brethren 
who yield to temptation. And therefore we say, that 
an offence against the moral law is an offence against 
Masonry ; for Masonry is, and from the very nature 
of its constitution can only be, a system of morality. 
It therefore follows, that a Mason who indulges in 
the vices of profane swearing, habitual intoxication, 
or others that subject him to contempt, and bring 
shame and disgrace upon the Fraternity, represented 
in his person, or who wilfully violates the solemn 
sanctions of his covenants, is a Masonic offender. 
Some of these offences are naturally more venial 
than others, and subject to a much less penalty on 
conviction, and in those cases it is held that the dis- 
cipline of the Craft cannot be exercised till the of- 
fender has been admonished by the Master or War- 
dens, as provided in the ninth of the Eegulations of 
1721. We regard this as a very important rule, not 
only as being in the oldest written law, but because 



it exemplifies the spirit of Masonry, which, like ’true 
charity, is long-suffering and kind, and seeks to ex- 
haust the influences of brotherly love before resort- 
ing to sterner proceedings. 

There are offences against the moral law which are 
so heinous in their nature that to dally with them 
by remonstrance or admonition would almost be to 
approve them ; in such cases, proceedings should be 
instituted and carried to conclusion without other 
than the necessary legal delay. 

Violations of the Masonic law — as, wilful disobe- 
dience of the constitution or the by-laws of a Lodge ; 
Masonic intercourse with a clandestine Lodge or 
Mason, or with a suspended or expelled brother; 
defrauding a brother Mason ; embezzling the funds 
of the Lodge or Grand Lodge ; violating the unwrit- 
ten landmarks ; refusing obedience to the lawful com- 
mands of a Masonic superior ; wilfully neglecting or 
refusing to obey a summons, are offences in Masonry 
which subject the offender to punishment of greater 
or less severity, according to the circumstances of 
the case. In all these instances, and many others 
that might be enumerated, a discreet Master will 
mark out a course to be pursued with greater accu- 
racy than could be accomplished by any general rulo 
we could frame. 

Violating the law of the land is necessarily a Ma- 



sonic offence, because the offender in disgracing him- 
self also disgraces the Fraternity, the whole Craft 
receiving blame for the acts of the individual. In 
such a case, charges are to be preferred as though 
no trial had taken place before the civil tribunal ; but 
it is not necessary that all the evidence should be re- 
peated. The testimony of two brethren who were 
present at the civil trial, and who certify the general 
tenor of the evidence, will be sufficient ; or, where 
the accused is already convicted of a felony, the of- 
ficial record of such conviction will be sufficient evi- 
dence for the prosecution. 

In dealing with such cases, a distinction is to be 
made between felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies 
entail personal disgrace and loss of character, while 
misdemeanors may be the simple neglect of a corpo- 
ration ordinance entailing a trivial fine. The best of 
men may be convicted of such an offence without dis- 

Political offences cannot be made the subject of 
Masonic discipline, because Masonry takes no cogni- 
zance of political differences. “ So that if a brother 
should be a rebel against the State, he is not to be 
countenanced in his rebellion, however he may be 
pitied as an unhappy man; and if convicted of no 
other crime, though the loyal brotherhood must and 
ought to disown his rebellion and give no umbrage 



or ground of political jealousy to the government for 
the time being, they cannot expel him from the Lodge, 
and his relation to it remains indefeasible.”* 

Religious differences, especially in countries where 
ecclesiastical powers are recognized by the State, are 
subject to the like rule for similar reasons. 


In the whole range of Masonic topics, there is none 
more difficult to deal with than the one we now pro- 
pose to examine ; not so much from any inherent dif- 
ficulty in the subject itself, as because it is one about 
which the generality of the Craft know little or noth- 
ing, and (in one sense it may be said) fortunately 
have little opportunity to acquire knowledge. For 
when a trial takes place, it is usually confined to the 
Lodge having jurisdiction, visitors being, very pro- 
perly, excluded ; and thus many of the brethren know 
nothing of the forms usual to such occasions. The 
judicial powers of a Lodge are, however, a part of its 
well-established prerogatives, and it is proper that 
their intention should be understood, as well as the 
forms by which they are accomplished. 

In a majority of Grand Lodge jurisdictions, trials 
are held in open Lodge ; but as in many cases it is 
necessary for committees to be appointed to take the 

Ancient Charges, Art II. 



evidence of persons who could not be present to tes- 
tify, it will, we think, eventually be the general rule 
to name committees to take all the evidence during 
the recess of the Lodge, and present that evidence, 
with the conclusions of the committee, to the Lodge 
for its final action. Such is the practice in the State 
of New York, and we shall here follow that model 
not only for the sake of perspicacity, but in the hope 
that a knowledge of its advantages may lead to its 
general adoption. The forms used we have placed 
in the Appendix, for the convenience of Lodges where 
they are the law, and for the examination of brethren 
elsewhere. The object of Masonic trials, like all oth- 
ers, is to demonstrate the guilt or innocence of the 
brother under charges, by the testimony of competent 
witnesses, before an unbiased tribunal, where every- 
thing may be done in a regular and orderly manner, 
and where there may be as absolute certainty as the 
imperfection of human nature will admit, that impar- 
tial justice will be awarded ; the accused being enti- 
tled to the presumption of innocence till proved 
guilty, and the accuser to purity of motive and sin- 
cerity of purpose. Trials occur either as the result 
of an accusation against a brother for unmasonic 
conduct, or to determine controversies between 
Lodges or individuals. 

The first step in a Masonic trial is the presentation 



of charges, which must be done in open Lodge, at a 
stated communication by a brother in good standing 
(usually the Junior Warden), n on-affiliated Masons 
and profanes not being competent to prefer charges. 

The charges must be in writing, and must fully 
specify the offence charged, together with the time 
and place of its commission, and must be signed by 
the accuser, even when presented by the Junior War- 
den. The indictment is read in open Lodge by the 
Secretary, and the Lodge decides by vote whether 
the charges shall be accepted and the accused bro- 
ther be placed on trial. When decided in the affirm- 
ative, the Master appoints a commission of three, five 
or more members, to hear, try and determine the 

The next step is the service of the charges, which 
is done by the Secretary furnishing a copy certified 
by the Lodge seal, which, together with a summons 
directing the delinquent to appear at a time and 
place therein named, with his witnesses, for the pur- 
pose of trial, is personally served on him, or left at 
his residence or place of business. 

The time allowed between the service of charges 
and the trial varies according to circumstances. 
Where the accused is a resident of the place in which 
the Lodge is held, ten days are generally deemed 
sufficient, though, for cause shown, a further reason- 



able delay will always be granted. "When the accused 
resides more than twenty miles from the Lodge, ser- 
vice is allowed by mail, and twenty or thirty days 
are given, and longer time 'when at a greater distance 
and out of the State. If the residence be unknown, 
or the delinquent has absconded, the Lodge may 
proceed ex parte and conduct the case as though the 
delinquent were present. When the summons is dis- 
obeyed, then another is issued and served, citing the 
accused to show cause why he should not be disci- 
plined for such contempt, and in the event of contin- 
ued neglect, the committee may either report judg- 
ment for contempt, or proceed to hear the evidence 
as in the case of an absconding member. 

On receipt of the charges, the defendant should, 
previous to the time named for the trial, make an- 
swer to them in writing, in which he may either sim- 
ply plead not guilty, or admit a portion and deny the 
rest of the specifications, as to him may seem proper. 
The object of this is to save time in the investigation 
by reducing the facts requiring proof to the narrow- 
est possible limits, and to avoid all extraneous mat- 
ters tending to complicate the trial. This suggestion 
will be found of great convenience in controversies 
between individuals or Lodges, or where charges are 
preferred against a Master by his Lodge, as afford- 
ing an opportunity for explanation and a possibility 



of mutual arrangement, winch ought always to be the 
first aim of all concerned. 

Where controversies arise between Lodges, or be- 
tween individuals or the members of different Lodges, 
the general custom is for the trial to be had in or by 
the Lodge to which the member belongs against 
whom charges are first made ; but though we are 
not prepared to say that a fair trial may not be thus 
obtained, there is nevertheless in such a course an 
apparent want of that strict impartiality which is at 
the very foundation of justice. It therefore appears 
fairer that such complaints, as well as those against 
Masters of Lodges, should be made to the Grand 
Lodge, or its officers charged with that duty, and 
that they should select commissioners from among 
the Masters and Wardens of neighboring Lodges ad- 
mittedly free from all bias in the premises. WTien 
charges are thus preferred, the commission make 
their report to the Grand officer appointing them, 
and their judgment is final, unless the proceedings 
be found irregular and a new trial be ordered, or an 
appeal be made to the Grand Lodge. In the latter 
case, the delinquent remains under effect of the sen- 
tence till it is legally reversed. 

At any time before the trial, the defendant may 
offer objections to the commissioners, on the score of 
bias, and when this happens they should either re- 



sign, or be removed by the appointing power, or tri- 
ers be appointed and the defendant be allowed an 
opportunity to show cause. These things would be 
allowed a defendant in civil law. How much more 
ought it to be done when the reputation of a brother 
is at stake. 

All the preliminaries having been adjusted, the 
commission meet at the time and place named in the 
summons and organize by the appointment of one of 
then* number chairman, and a clerk, who need not 
necessarily be a commissioner. The defendant is 
then admitted with his counsel, if he have one. Any 
Master Mason in good standing may act as such 
counsel, but not a profane. The charges and speci- 
fications are read, and the case is then open. At this 
period the defendant may offer in writing any objec- 
tions he thinks proper to make, to the jurisdiction of 
the Lodge, to the defective nature of the specifica- 
tions or others. The commission will decide as to 
their validity. If the points of objection are found 
to be well taken, it would be useless to proceed fur- 
ther, because there would be a reasonable certainty 
that on appeal the proceedings would be reversed. 
If, on the contrary, they be deemed invalid, and the 
commission so decide, a note to that effect is entered 
on the minutes, and a copy of the paper is filed with 
the clerk as a part of .the case. It would, however, 



be better, as we have already observed, that all such 
objections should be made in the written answer of 
the defendant to the charges, to be served on the 
commission as soon after the reception of the charges 
as possible, that the commissioners may have ample 
time to consider them before making a decision. 

The examination of witnesses (who are to be called 
before the commission, one at a time,) will now take 
place ; first, in behalf of the prosecution, and then 
for the defence. And here we may devote a moment 
to inquire who may be witnesses on a Masonic trial. 

Children of tender years, unable to comprehend 
the solemnity of an obhgatian ; persons of unsound 
mind, atheists ; persons who have been convicted of 
heinous crimes, and expelled Masons, are incompe- 
tent to testify. In addition to these, it should be the 
rule, although it is not always, that persons inter- 
ested in the result of the trial — that is, persons whose 
interests would be affected, either favorably or unfa- 
vorably, by the result — should not be allowed to tes- 
tify. Masons wives are generally allowed to give 
evidence on the trial of their husbands, when desired 
to do so ; but we think the practice an unsafe one, 
and one that ought to be guided by the rule in civil 
law which forbids such testimony. Women not thus 
interested, and profanes, may give evidence before a 
commission, but where the trial is in open Lodge, 



they would have to be examined by a committee 
named for the purpose, and in presence of the ac- 
cused, who has the right to propound cross-interrog- 
atories, and who would accompany the committee for 
that purpose. 

Lodge-books and vouchers, and certified extracts 
therefrom, are occasionally and properly introduced 
as testimony. 

Master Masons in good standing are of course 
competent witnesses, and give their testimony under 
the sanction of their covenants, the commission hav- 
ing no power to administer judicial oaths, and not 
being allowed to do so if they had. 

The accused has the right to cross-examine all wit- 

The general rules of evidence apply in Masonic 
trials, but not all. For instance, where a brother 
is charged with habitual intoxication no evidence can 
be introduced tending to convict him of fraud, or any 
other crime ; nor would it be proper to attempt to 
elicit such information on the examination of a wit- 
ness placed on the stand to substantiate the charge 
of intoxication. This is one of the errors into which 
brethren unaccustomed to legal proceedings are most 
likely to be led ; and more judgments are reversed 
on such grounds than almost any other. No attempt 
should, therefore, be made to prove anything not 
laid down in the charges. 



The questions asked, and the answers given by the 
witnesses, are to be written down verbatim by the 
clerk — first the direct, and then the cross-examina- 
tion ; and when the deposition of a witness is con- 
cluded, it should be read over to him, and he should 
approve its correctness by appending his signature 
to it. 

Hearsay evidence cannot be admitted ; the wit- 
nesses must be able to testify of his own knowledge, 
or not at all. 

A Master Mason cannot be impeached. He may 
be contradicted by the introduction of witnesses to 
prove a contrary state of facts to that alleged by him, 
but no witnesses can be allowed to testify that they 
would not believe him under oath, as is frequently 
done in civil suits. If a Mason has so far lost his 
character as to be unworthy of belief, even when tes- 
tifying under oath, there must be some cause for it, 
and he should therefore be put under charges, tried, 
and excluded from the Craft ; but until these things 
have been done, he is entitled to the considerations 
attaching to regular standing. 

Lastly, the object of a Masonic trial is to ascertain 
the exact truth in regard to a charge preferred, that 
strict justice may govern the administration of disci- 
pline. No mere technicality ought to be allowed to 
stand in the way of producing the necessary facts, 



and when such technicalities are insisted upon by 
counsel, the better way would be to note the objec- 
tion on the minutes, produce the facts, and leave the 
decision to the appellate tribunal. A Mason accused 
of delinquency ought to depend on an open rebuttal 
of the accusation, and not upon the skilful handling 
of what, in common parlance, we term “ legal quib- 
bles.” During a somewhat extended observation of 
Masonic trials, we have always found that, as the 
committees are usually plain men, unacquainted with 
the technicalities and subtleties of law proceedings, 
so a plain, straight-forward course is the most likely 
to be successful ; and, indeed, it would be a scandal 
to Masonry were the facts otherwise, for if a guilty 
brother may avoid conviction by an authorized re- 
sort to the chicanery of the law, then, by a parity of 
reasoning, an innocent one might be convicted by a 
similar process. To admit either proposition would 
be to degrade Masonry, by assimilating it to the un- 
fair practices of the world, and taking from its arcana 
the cardinal virtues which are at the foundation of 
its system. We shall not be misunderstood as ob- 
jecting to the employment of counsel in Masonic in- 
vestigations, for we favor such a course, on the ground 
that, being disinterested, they are not affected by the 
passions of the immediate litigants ; and further, that 
by their knowledge they are enabled to avoid unnec- 



essary circumlocution, thus keeping the proceedings 
within due bounds ; but we do object, and we warn 
the brethren — both lay and professional — against 
making the result of Masonic trials dependent upon 
the subtleties by which reputations and fortunes are 
won or lost in the lottery of common law. 

The evidence being all in, it is then optional with 
the parties concerned to sum up. We have only to 
say, in this regard, that never having known a sum- 
ming up to have the slightest effect upon the result, 
we leave it as a matter of taste to those concerned. 

If the proceedings have been lengthy, the commis- 
sion usually have a meeting by themselves to read 
over the evidence and agree as to their conclusion, 
a majority of the commission being required to find 
a verdict. Having settled upon their verdict, the 
clerk is directed to notify the accused of that fact, 
and that the commission will present their conclu- 
sions to the Lodge at its next stated communication. 
At that communication the report is presented and 
read, together with the evidence, if required, and 
the Lodge then proceeds to consider the question : 
“ Shall the finding of the commissioners be ap- 
proved ?” Debate is allowed, and the defendant or 
his counsel may be heard. The Lodge may in its 
discretion alter, approve, or reverse the finding. Be- 
fore taking the vote, however, the accused is directed 



to retire, and then the Lodge finally passes upon the 
case,* subject, of course, to an appeal, of which the 
accused is expected to give notice within such time 
as may be fixed by the regulations. 

Where, as under certain circumstances provided 
in the constitution of the Grand Lodge of New York,t 
the commission is appointed by the Grand Master, 
the report is made to him, and his approval makes 
it final, unless appeal be taken to the Grand Lodge 
within six months. Where the Deputy, or one of 
the District Deputies, names the commission, report 
is made to the appointing officer, but appeal may be 
taken to the Grand Master, and again to the next 
succeeding Grand Lodge. 


The penalties inflicted for Masonic offences are : 
Reprimand ; Exclusion, which is temporary or per- 
manent ; Suspension, definite or indefinite ; and Ex- 
pulsion. In England, fines are permitted to be levied 

* The manner of voting, on these occasions, differs in the vari- 
ous Grand Lodge jurisdictions. In some it is required to be taken 
by ballot. In others, viva voce ; and in others it is left to the dis- 
cretion of the Lodges. 

f Controversies between Lodges, or between individuals belong- 
ing to different Lodges, or where charges are preferred against the 
Master of a Lodge. 



under tlie name of punishments ; but the sentiment 
of the American Fraternity being decidedly averse 
to them, they are held among us to be unmasonic. 

Reprimand is the mildest form of Masonic punish- 
ment, and, though it can only be inflicted after trial, 
is considered rather as an admonition to the offender 
for some trifling breach of the law, and as a notice 
of intention to preserve intact the dignity of our pro- 

This punishment should, when possible, be admin- 
istered by the Master in person, and be made the 
occasion for reminding, not only the delinquent, but 
the brethren generally, of the sacred nature of our 
engagements, and the certainty that they cannot bo 
violated with impunity. 

Exclusion , when temporary in its effect, is adminis- 
tered by the Grand Master, in the Grand Lodge, for 
refusal to submit to the rules of order, contumacy to 
the authority of the Grand Master, or, in brief, for 
any conduct not sufficiently heinous to call for in- 
dictment and trial, but too much so to be allowed to 
pass without notice. 

The same thing occurs, under like circumstances, 
in a subordinate Lodge. A brother who is disor- 
derly, or contumacious — who refuses to obey the 
Master, or to conform to the regulations of the 
Lodge, may be excluded by a vote of the Lodge, or 
by the direct prerogative of the Master. 



It is well to observe here, that the part of the 
opening ritual which strictly forbids improper con- 
duct, under such penalty as the by-laws prescribe, 
or a majority of the brethren present see proper to 
inflict, applies to the state of facts here cited, and 
not (as many erroneously suppose) to the infliction 
of the higher grades of punishment because an of- 
fence has been committed in view of the Lodge. 
Temporary exclusion does not deprive a Mason of 
any of his general relations to the Fraternity, or any 
of his positive rights (for the right to be in the 
Lodge is a qualified one, dependent on good beha- 
vior,) and hence, when milder remedies — as expostu- 
lation or reproof — fail, may be summarily adminis- 
tered to save the credit of the Lodge and preserve 
its peace and harmony ; but when an offence has 
been committed requiring the infliction of either of 
the major punishments, then the necessary forms of 
a trial must be had. This rule is necessary to guard 
against the effects of sudden passion, which may 
seize an assembly as effectually as a single individ- 
ual, and under the influence of which a stigma might 
be attached to an innocent man that no after repent- 
ance could altogether banish. Moreover, if it were 
in the province of a Lodge to deprive a brother of 
all his rights in a summary manner, there would be 
no safety for the minority ; for where absolute power 



exists, the apology for its exercise is rarely difficult 
to find. Let it be admitted, too, that where a grave 
offence has been committed in the very presence of 
a Lodge, the result of a formal trial must necessarily 
be a foregone conclusion. Still, it is better and more 
Masonic to guard against the possibility of error or 
misunderstanding by adhering to the forms of trial, 
and thus dispensing justice without the semblance of 
passion. It is true that temporary exclusion might 
be ordered by the Master without due reflection or 
adequate cause, but at the worst the excluded bro- 
ther would lose nothing but the pleasure of a single 
evening in the Lodge, while, on his complaint to the 
Grand Master, a more than compensatory justice 
might be awarded to the hastily-acting Master or 
Lodge. Not much danger, however, is to be appre- 
hended from this source ; for during an active par- 
ticipation of twenty years in the affairs of Masonry, 
we have never known of a case. The principle, how- 
ever, remains the same. 

Permanent exclusion w T as formerly the polite term 
for expulsion ; but it is now better known as striking 
from the roll — a process by -which a brother is sum- 
marily deprived of his rights of membership in a 
particular Lodge, without trial, and often without 
notice. This practice, which is gradually making its 
way among the Grand Lodges, commenced about 



the year 1851, and was intended by the authors to 
afford a milder way of dealing with unwilling or neg- 
ligent contributors to the Lodge funds than the 
former one of suspension, it being held that no gen 
eral deprivation of rights ought to follow mere re 
missness in paying dues. The remedy has, however, 
proved many times worse than the original disease ; 
for a brother stricken from the roll is not only de- 
prived of his membership in his own Lodge, but also 
of that of affiliating elsewhere, should he be so in- 
clined, because when attempting such affiliation he 
cannot show an honorable discharge from his first 
membership, and cannot therefore be admitted to 
the new one. Striking from the roll is frequently 
resorted to when it is desired to get rid of an obnox- 
ious member against whom no charges can be found, 
and he is thus driven into the ranks of the non-affil- 
iated, with a moral certainty that he will remain 
there. We fully concur in the general sentiment, 
that no act of suspension should be allowed for non- 
payment of dues only, and we think that all the re- 
quirements of justice could be answered by excluding 
from all the rights and benefits of his own Lodge 
any brother who, after due notice, neglects or refuses 
to pay his dues (when one year in arrears), condi- 
tioned that payment of the amount due at the time 
of exclusion, if tendered within one year from that 



date, should operate his restoration to his former 
status without other action ; and if more than a year 
had elapsed, that then the Lodge, on receiving the 
amount due, should grant an honorable discharge ; 
provided, of course, that no charges are pending. 
Lodge dues are a legitimate source of revenue, and 
a much better dependence than initiations for the 
means to meet current expenses. It is therefore 
proper that Lodges should have reasonable power to 
enforce payment, but still, one that when used should 
not be a worse offence in Masonry than the delin- 
quency against which it is leveled. 

Definite Suspension is the first really serious pun- 
ishment inflicted by Masonic law, because, while in 
operation — whether the period be one year or one 
day — the suspended brother is deprived of all his 
Masonic rights but one, and that is the right to re- 
sume his place in the Craft when the suspension ex- 
pires by its own limitation. If it were otherwise, it 
would not be definite, because the Lodge, if required 
to act, might refuse a reinstatement, and thus the 
suspension would be indefinite. But the name of 
the penalty sufficiently determines its character, and 
no argument is needed to show that if a brother is 
suspended for six months he cannot be suspended 
one moment longer without new charges, and a new 
trial for some other offence than that just expiated 
by the six months’ suspension. 



Indefinite Suspension is technically considered a 
higher grade of punishment than where the exact 
period is specified in the sentence, because in this 
case a vote of the Lodge is necessary to restoration ; 
but practically it is less severe, for we incline to the 
opinion that a motion to take off an indefinite sus- 
pension would be in order at any meeting after the 
promulgation of the sentence. The very terms of the 
penalty would seem to indicate that by naming no 
time the Lodge reserved a right to terminate the 
punishment at pleasure. Beyond this, there is no 
difference in the two grades. A Mason definitely or 
indefinitely suspended is — while the penalty operates 
— deprived of all his rights and privileges as effect- 
ually as if he had never been initiated. 

Expulsion is the highest penalty known to the Ma- 
sonic code, and when inflicted absolutely severs all 
connection between the brother and the Fraternity, 
for which reason it has been aptly termed Masonic 
death. This penalty is only inflicted for the most 
flagrant infractions of moral or Masonic law, and 
when pronounced by a Lodge is conditional until af- 
firmed by the Grand Lodge, if appeal be taken against 
it within the time prescribed by the local regulations. 
If no appeal be taken, no confirmation is needed, 
because the delinquent may then be said to accept 
the terms of the sentence. By expulsion, a Mason 



not only loses his own rights, but his family is there- 
by deprived of all claim upon the assistance and pro- 
tection of the Fraternity. 

This penalty should only be inflicted after serious 
deliberation, and when it is believed that the pres- 
ence of the offender in the Society will produce 
greater evil than his reformation could be expected 
to effect good. 

A question here arises as to what vote is required 
to suspend or expel. Reasoning by analogy, wo 
should say that, as in the first Grand Lodge, all 
questions were decided by a majority vote, so, in the 
present day, the same general rule ought to apply ; 
but we find a great diversity of opinion existing on 
this point. Some Grand Lodges require a two-thirds 
vote ; others — New York among the number — a ma- 
jority. As in various other matters, therefore, the 
decision will be governed by the regulations of the 
local Grand Lodge. 

Notice of suspension or expulsion is usually sent 
to the neighboring Lodges, and always to the Grand 
Secretary ; but care must be taken that no publica- 
tion is made to others than Masons ; to avoid which 
the notices should be in writing. 

Lastly, it is now universally admitted that while 
expulsion or suspension, when inflicted by the au- 
thority of symbolic Masonry, debars the brother 



thus dealt with from all the rights he may have as 
a Boyal Arch Mason or Knight Templar, the same 
penalties, when inflicted by the higher orders, do not 
affect his standing in the Lodge, for the reason that 
the Chapter and Commandery rest upon the Lodge, 
it being an indispensible prerequisite to admission 
in them that the candidate shall be in good standing 
in the preceding degrees ; and the same qualification 
is necessary to maintain membership when acquired. 
When, therefore, a Knight Templar loses his stand- 
ing in symbolic Masonry by suspension or expulsion 
he no longer possesses the requisite qualifications for 
membership in the Commandery, and can therefore 
no longer participate in its labors. But the converse 
of the proposition does not hold good, because, while 
the Templar is required to have received the degrees 
of the Lodge and Chapter, and therefore has lawful 
knowledge of those bodies, the Master Mason knows 
nothing of the superior grades, and cannot take legal 
cognizance of their acts ; and hence, when the Chap- 
ter or Commandery expel one of their members, his 
standing in his Lodge remains good. If the offence 
for which he has been expelled in the higher body be 
one affecting his moral character and standing, the 
same charge may be brought against him in the 
Lodge, and he will there be dealt with in the usual 




In the Masonic code, restoration is the act of grace, 
or pardon, extended to the repentant offender after 
sentence has taken effect, and ought not to be con- 
founded — as it usually is — with reinstatement, when, 
on appeal, the proceedings in the lower tribunal 
have been reversed. It is the law that when, after 
trial and appeal to the Grand Lodge, the sentence 
has been finally confirmed, and the accused indefi- 
nitely suspended or expelled, as the case may be, the 
Grand Lodge may, on petition, restore the individual 
to all the general rights and privileges of Masonry, 
but not to membership in any Lodge ; because when 
the sentence is confirmed by the court of last resort, 
membership in the Lodge ceases as effectually as if 
it had never existed, and the reserved right of the 
Lodge to decide who shall and who shall not be ad- 
mitted to membership then applies in full force. But, 
as we have already shown, when on appeal the sen- 
tence and proceedings in the first court (the Lodge) 
are reversed for irregularity or want of proof, then 
the sentence of suspension or expulsion goes for 
nothing, because it is declared by the highest au- 
thority that it has not been legally pronounced, and 
therefore not pronounced at all ; and, as we have 
said before, the member continues the standing ho 



enjoyed before the charges were preferred ; which 
standing had been attacked but not injured by the 
irregular proceedings. In this case, it is evident that 
no act of restoration would be performed, because 
there being no loss of membership there is nothing 
to restore. It is true that after sentence, and during 
the proceedings on appeal previous to its final deter- 
mination, the Lodge would not allow the member to 
sit or enjoy any of its rights or privileges ; but it will 
be observed that, while the appeal is pending, the 
rights of the member are not lost, but only in abey- 
ance, the sentence of the Lodge being always subject 
to appeal, which appeal would be worse than idle if 
it left an unjust sentence in effect, or if, when it de- 
clared a brother illegally dealt with, it did not by 
that declaration place him in the exact position oc- 
cupied by him before the commencement of proceed- 

Definite suspension requires no restoration, be- 
cause as a brother loses his rights by a sentence for 
a defined period, so, when that period expires by its 
own limitation, the cause of the loss ceases, and the 
effects cease with it. 

When a Lodge restores a brother who is under 
the effects of a £nal sentence of indefinite suspen- 
sion or expulsion, it readmits him to membership, 
because it reverses its own sentence and extends a 



full pardon for the offence on comiction for which 
sentence had been pronounced. Restoration by the 
Grand Lodge is necesarily different, because it may 
take place without the knowledge or consent of the 
Lodge, which may still adhere to its original deter- 
mination. It also frequently happens that a Lodge 
may be willing that a brother suspended or expelled 
by it shall be restored to the rights and privileges 
of a non-affiliated Mason, but not again to his former 
membership ; in which case they allow the restora- 
tion to be made by the Grand Lodge, and usually 
join in the petition for such restoration. 

Here again the question occurs : “ What vote is 
necessary to enable a Lodge to restore a brother in- 
definitely suspended or expelled ?” In answer, we 
can state the general practice, but we cannot give 
any absolute rule, because there is none. It is com- 
monly held that a two-thirds vote is necessary to re- 
store an indefinitely suspended Mason, but we have 
never met with any one who could give a valid rea- 
son for the requirement beyond the regulations of 
Grand Lodges. Those bodies restore even from ex- 
pulsion by a majority vote, and we see no reason why 
a Lodge may not take off a sentence of indefinite 
suspension in the same way. Grand Lodge regula- 
tions are, however, of greater force than mere opin- 
ions, and Lodges must consult and be governed by 



them. Itestoration from expulsion by a Lodge re- 
quires previous proposal and a unanimous vote ; be- 
cause the sentence of expulsion, when confirmed, is 
Masonic death, or, in other words, absolute severance 
of all connection between the individual and the Fra- 
ternity ; and as the act of restoration puts the indi- 
vidual in possession of full Masonic privileges, it is 
necessary that the vote should be unanimous, be- 
cause the Lodge by restoration admits to member- 
ship one who had been severed from it as completely 
as if he had never belonged to it, or had voluntarily 
dimitted. Here the distinction between indefinite 
suspension and expulsion (which is an extremely nice 
one) will be made. A brother who has been sus- 
pended, although he is as totally debarred from the 
exercise of his Masonic privileges, for the time being , 
as one expelled, nevertheless retains a quasi connec- 
tion with the Society. “ He is not dead, but sleep- 
eth.” That is, the functions of his Masonic existence 
are not absolutely destroyed, but suspended ; and 
the removal of this disability would appear to require 
a less decided vote than in the case of the major 
penalty. It may be added, too, that as this penalty 
is inflicted for less serious offences than those re- 
quiring expulsion, so, in justice, it ought to require a 
less difficult method of restoration than unanimity. 

In the act of striking from the roll, it is understood 



that the member has forfeited his membership by 
refusal or neglect to comply with the by-law requir- 
ing him to pay annual or quarterly dues, and has, in 
so doing, violated a contract made by him on his ad- 
mission as a member. This is a matter belonging to 
the Lodge — one that does not affect the general re- 
lations of the brother to the Fraternity except in de- 
priving him of the power to affiliate elsewhere ; and 
one, consequently, in which reinstatement, and not 
restoration, is required. If the striking from the 
roll is performed in accordance with the law of the 
jurisdiction, then the Grand Lodge cannot interfere 
to force the member back ; but, on the contrary, if 
there has been irregularity in the proceedings, then, 
of course, the Grand Lodge, in reversing those pro- 
ceedings, reinstates the member ; because, not hav- 
ing been legally deprived of his rights, he is lawfully 
entitled to the position he occupied before the illegal 
act. We hope to see the day when, by general con- 
sent, the disabilities arising from mere non-payment 
of dues may be removed by the payment of the 
amount of such dues ; for as a Mason, while stricken 
from the roll, cannot enjoy the privileges of the 
Lodge, neither should he be chargeable with dues 
during that time. 




CHAPTER Y 1 1 1 . 

$|f dr inti Itnij*. 


Our readers cannot have failed to observe that we 
have studiously avoided all reference to authorities 
of an earlier date than the charges and regulations 
of 1721, which we consider as sufficient for all the 
purposes of the present system of Masonic jurispru- 
dence. From this stand-point we feel warranted in 
making the assertion, that Grand Lodges, as now 
constituted and conducted, are a modern growth, en- 
grafted on the original stock at the revival of Ma- 
sonry in 1717, and having no claim whatever to an 
existence preceding that period. We are aware that 
the assembly in the city of York, in 926, at which the 
Gothic constitutions were adopted, and others held 
at subsequent periods, have been denominated Grand 
Lodges, but the term is misapplied ; they were con- 
ventions or general assemblies, having no more sim- 
ilitude to a modern Grand Lodge than a friendly 
meeting of brethren would resemble the order and 
regularity that prevail in a formed Lodge. Eebold, 



in his “ Histoire General de la Franc-maconnerie” 
speaks of Grand Lodges ( Haupthutten ) existing in 
the fifteenth century, which “ had independent and 
sovereign jurisdiction, and determined without appeal 
all causes brought before them.” But they belonged 
to the Society of operative Masons or stone-dressers, 
to which he and others imagine the present Society 
of speculative or Freemasons owes its existence ; and 
though they may in some degree have been the mod- 
els, they certainly had no relation to Grand Lodges 
of the present day. 

Previous to 1717, an annual assembly and feast 
was held at which all the brethren who saw fit were 
present, and at which, when required, a Grand Mas- 
ter w r as elected ; but these meetings fell into decay 
until, on the accession of George I., the Masons in 
London resolved to cement themselves under a new 
Grand Master, and to revive the communications and 
annual festivals of the Society. Accordingly, on St. 
John the Baptist’s day, 1717, in the third year of 
the reign of King George I., the assembly and feast 
were held, when the oldest Master Mason and the 
Master of a Lodge, having taken the chair, a list of 
proper candidates for the office of Grand Master was 
produced, and the brethren, by a great majority of 
hands, elected Mr. Anthony Sayer Grand Master of 
Masons for the ensuing year, who was forthwith in- 



vested by the oldest Master, installed by the Master 
of the oldest Lodge, and duly congratulated by the 
assembly who paid him homage.* This was the be- 
ginning of the Grand Lodge of England, from which 
have sprung the Grand Lodges of the world. At this 
meeting it was agreed, among other things, “ that 
the privilege of assembling as Masons, which had 
hitherto been unlimited, should be vested in certain 
Lodges or assemblies of Masons convened in cer- 
tain places, and that every Lodge to be hereafter 
convened, except the four old Lodges at this time 
existing, should be legally authorized to act by a 
warrant from the Grand Master for the time being, 
granted to certain individuals by petition, with the 
consent and approbation of the Grand Lodge in 
communication ; and that without such warrant no 
Lodge should hereafter be deemed regular or consti- 

Thus was established a central authority or gov- 
ernment for the Fraternity, to which was committed 
the superintendence of the Craft, and entrusted the 
responsibility of making laws for its observance and 
for the maintainanee of its ancient landmarks ; it be- 
ing also specially agreed “ that no law, rule, or reg- 
ulation, to be thereafter made or passed in the Grand 
Lodge, should encroach on any landmark which was 

* Preston’s Illustrations of Masonry — Oliver’s edition — p. 150. 




at that time established as the standard of Masonic 

The Grand Lodge thus inaugurated underwent, 
within a brief period, various modifications. Many 
new Lodges being formed, it was soon foimd that a 
general attendance of the brethren would make the 
body too unwieldy, and the present system of repre- 
sentation by the Masters and Wardens was estab- 
lished. The right to confer the three degrees was 
ceded to the Lodges, and the Grand Lodge then be- 
came what it is now — the supreme tribunal and leg- 
islature of the Craft within its jurisdiction. 

The first Grand Lodge, it will be observed, was 
established by the concurrent action of the brethren 
of the four old Lodges, acting as individuals, as is 
evident from the fact stated by Preston, that when 
matters had been adjusted to the satisfaction of the 
brethren of the four old Lodges, they considered 
their attendance on the future communications of the 
society as unnecessary ; and, like the other Lodges, 
trusted implicitly to their Masters and Wardens, rest- 
ing satisfied that no measure of importance would 
be adopted without their approbation. It is now 
held that no Grand Lodge can be established with- 
out the concurrence of three or more regular Lodges 
previously established, and acting through their 
Masters and Wardens. We shall refer to this again 

* Preston. 



when we come to speak of the jurisdictional rights 
of Grand Lodges. 


A Grand Lodge is now defined to be “ a body of 
Masons in whom is inalienably vested the govern- 
ment and superintendence of the Fraternity within 
its territorial jurisdiction, and is primarily composed 
of its Grand officers and the Masters and Wardens, 
or their proxies, of the several subordinate Lodges 
under its jurisdiction.”* It is necessarily supreme 
in the exercise of all powers not specially reserved 
to the Lodges, and there is of course no appeal from 
its decisions ; but it cannot make or pass any regu- 
lation in derogation of the Ancient Landmarks. 

The powers of a Grand Lodge are : Legislative, 
Judicial, and Executive, which are exercised under 
the limitations above specified, but which are inop- 
erative beyond the political limits of the country, 
State, or territory in which it may be located, and 
from which it. usually derives its name — as the Grand 
Lodge of England, of New York, etc. 

The Legislative powers of a Grand Lodge extend to 
all matters relating to the Craft save those inherent 
in, and reserved to, the Lodges. The laws made by 
it have general effect throughout the bounds of its 
* Constitution G. L. of N. Y. 



Jurisdiction, and its decisions are final and without 
appeal ; though it may, like all other legislative bod- 
ies, revise its own proceedings, and alter, amend, or 
annul them, as set forth in the thirty-ninth of the 
General Regulations. In the exercise of this power, 
a Grand Lodge may enact a constitution and regula- 
tions for its own government and for the government 
of the Fraternity which it represents, and may alter 
or amend that instrument in accordance with its own 
provisions. It may levy a tax on its subordinates, 
or require the payment of a certain portion of their 
revenues into its treasury, for the purpose of defray- 
ing its necessary expenses. It may grant warrants 
constituting new Lodges, by which they become com- 
ponents of the great Masonic family, and enact laws 
for their better regulation and convenience. It may 
establish and preserve a uniform mode of work and 
lectures, under sanction of the Ancient Landmarks 
and usages of Masonry. It may hear, and entertain 
or reject, all appeals, memorials, petitions, or resolu- 
tions that may be presented in proper form. 

The Legislative power of the Grand Lodge is the 
one which, from its nature and the habits of our peo- 
ple, is, in this country, most likely to be abused ; 
nay, the one that is already responsible for much 
evil. The tendency to over-legislate, common to all 
deliberative bodies, is becoming more apparent ev- 



ery year ; and conservative men already foresee trou- 
bles arising in the future from this source. Nor can 
it be doubted, that the original intention of the foun- 
ders of the Grand Lodge system — the objects they 
sought to attain by yielding a portion of their rights 
— have been, and are constantly being, overstepped ; 
that the reserved rights of the Lodges are being 
gradually encroached upon, and the powers of the 
Grand Lodge correspondingly increased. The re- 
sult may be easily divined, and will manifest itself — 
as it has already done in some instances — in the as- 
sertion of a claim to sole and supreme authority in 
all matters relating to the Craft. It is the duty of 
the brethren at large to counteract this evil tend- 
ency, and maintain their reserved rights intact by a 
more careful scrutiny of Grand Lodge doings, and 
by instructing their representatives so that they shall, 
when in Grand Lodge, represent their constituents 
rather than themselves. There is also a minor evil 
growing out of excessive legislation which is simply 
annoying to the brethren, without producing any 
benefit to the institution. We refer to the mania for 
making laws and regulations on every conceivable 
topic, nine-tenths of which ought reasonably to be 
left to the discretion of Lodges, and the interference 
with which tends to exasperate them, and sets their 
wits at work to discover some means by which the 
rule may be evaded. 



As a matter of right, the legislation of a Grand 
Lodge ought always to be prospective in its action ; 
retroactive, or ex post facto , laws being regarded in 
all communities as unjust, oppressive and destructive 
of the rights of communities and individuals. 

The Judicial powers of a Grand Lodge are of two 
kinds : original and appellate. Original judicial 
power is exercised by the Grand Lodge in the trial 
of charges against any of its officers for malfeasance 
in office, except the Grand Master ; in the settlement 
of controversies between Lodges, or between indi- 
vidual members of different Lodges, or in the trial 
of a Master of a Lodge against whom charges are 
preferred. It also may assume original jurisdiction 
in cases which come before it on appeal, by increas- 
ing the penalty awarded by the original court. It 
also exercises original jurisdiction in the forfeiture 
or revocation of warrants, which generally results 
from evil practices on the part of the Lodge, which 
is therefor put on trial. As one Lodge cannot en- 
tertain charges against another, and proceed to try 
them, it necessarily follows that the Grand Lodge, 
being the common superior, is the appropriate tribu- 
nal for the trial of such cases. Warrants thus for- 
feited may of course be returned by the Grand Lodge 
at its pleasure. The judicial powers of the Grand 
Lodge are, however, most frequently exercised in the 



decision of appeals from the individual members of 
the Fraternity against the action of their Lodges, or 
the decisions of their Masters, and its decisions are 
final and binding on the parties, because there being 
no Masonic authority superior to the Grand Lodge, 
it is the court of last resort. 

The Executive powers of a Grand Lodge are those 
in the exercise of which it administers the laws and 
enforces the decisions made by it in its legislative 
and judicial capacity. And whatever may have been 
the practice in former days, it is now certain that 
they are exercised for no other purpose. While, how- 
ever, a Grand Lodge, when in session, confines its 
action to the administration of the laws it has enact- 
ed, there can be no doubt that it may extend the 
sphere of its action, by a change of its constitution, 
to all matters not in absolute derogation of the inhe- 
rent rights of Lodges. Thus, if there were no con- 
stitutional impediment, it might initiate, pass, and 
raise a profane, because it is the authority from 
whence the subordinates derive their right to make 
Masons ; but it could not make the brother it raised 
a member of any Lodge, for that is an inherent pre- 
rogative of the Lodges themselves, with which the 
Grand Lodge cannot interfere. 

The executive power of a Grand Lodge is, how- 
ever, in a great degree entrusted to the Grand Mas- 



ter, and by him exercised during the recess — a ne- 
cessity arising from the fact that the Grand Lodges 
of the United States, with perhaps two or three ex- 
ceptions, having by common consent abolished Quar- 
terly Communications, meet annually only. These 
meetings seldom last more than three or four days ; 
so that for three hundred and sixty days in the year 
the administration and execution of the laws is en- 
trusted to the Grand Master ; and the probability is 
that, all things considered, the laws are more care- 
fully executed by him than they would or could be 
by the Grand Lodge. 

The Jurisdictional rights of a Grand Lodge do not 
extend beyond the bounderies of the country, State, 
or territory where it is located, except where a coun- 
try is Masonically vacant ; that is, having no Grand 
Lodge established in it ; in which case all the Grand 
Lodges in the world have concurrent jurisdiction 
there, so far as they may deem it proper to be exer- 
cised ; so that in a vacant territory one or a dozen 
Grand Lodges may charter subordinates, and each 
would be equally justified in so doing. When, how- 
ever, a majority of the subordinates (being not less 
than three in number) choose to establish a Grand 
Lodge, then the territory is occupied ; and not only 
are Grand Lodges in other States or countries for- 
bidden to exercise any powers in the territory occu- 



pied by the new Grand Lodge, but their subordi- 
nates (if any) that may have refused to unite in the 
formation of the Grand Lodge, are to be withdrawn 
or left subject to the disposition of the local author- 
ity.”* It is the assertion of this doctrine that has 
been, and still is, the cause of difficulty between the 
Grand Lodges of New York and Hamburgh. The 
latter body, not content with superintending the af- 
fairs of its own jurisdiction, has thought proper to 
create new Lodges owing fealty and obedience to it, 
but located in the State of New York, and therefore 
within the bounds of the lawful Grand Lodge of that 
State. The Grand Lodge of New York very properly 
objects to this invasion of its territory, because : 1st. 
It was the first to occupy the jurisdiction now occu- 

* A case in point occurred in the Grand Encampment of the 
United States, in 1859. That body had established subordinates 
in the State of Michigan to the number of> four. Three of these 
subordinates united in forming a State Grand Commandery, but 
one refused to do so, and claimed the right to continue its alle- 
giance to the Grand Encampment of the U. S. The Committee 
on Jurisprudence reported : “ That in all the branches of Masonry 
in this country the law obtains that a State Grand Body has sole 
and exclusive jurisdiction within the limits of the territory it occu- 
pies. There can be no divided jurisdiction, nor can any authority 
give legal existence to a subordinate in contravention of the will 
of the State Superior.” Whereupon it was resolved : “That the 
Grand Commandery of Michigan, from the date of its formation, 
has of right exercised sole and exclusive jurisdiction over all sub- 
ordinates in that State.” 



pied by it — its existence antedating the political 
formation of the State. 2d. That occupation has 
been continuous to the present moment ; and 3d. 
Because the Grand Lodges of the world, Hamburgh 
excepted, agree that every Grand Lodge has sole 
and exclusive jurisdiction within the limits of the ter- 
ritory in which it is located ; and hence, that no 
Grand Lodge has the shadow of a right to plant 
Lodges in the territory of its neighbor without its 
consent. If, therefore, the difficulty is ever adjusted, 
it must be by the Grand Lodge of Hamburgh retir- 
ing from its unjustifiable and unfratemal violation of 
an universal law. 

"We have already spoken of Lodge jurisdiction in 
its appropriate place. That jurisdiction is restrained 
or extended by Grand Lodges, especially in the mod- 
ern rule forbidding the initiation of non-residents. 
Having already given the reasons for its adoption, 
it is only necessary to say that although accepted as 
a law by the Grand Lodges of the United States, it 
is not generally so in Europe. The probability is, 
however, that in the progress of time it will become 


®!>t ionir ©ffims. 

In all Grand Lodges and Grand Orients there is a 
Grand Master, but the remaining officers vary in ti- 
tle, number and prerogative according to the customs 
of the country, the rite practiced, or the supposed 
necessities of the Grand Body itself. Thus, in Eng- 
land there is a Deputy Grand Master and Provincial 
Grand Masters appointed by the Grand Master, and 
in some cases a “ Pro. Grand Master, who can only 
be appointed when the Masonic throne is occupied 
by a prince of the blood royal. And to be qualified 
for the situation it is requisite that his worldly rank 
be commensurate with the dignity of the office and 
the representative of royalty. He must, therefore, 
be a peer of the realm, as well as the Past Master of 
a Lodge. His collar and jewel, like his authority, 
must be precisely the same as that of the Grand 
Master ; and in case of a vacancy, he actually as- 
sumes the office until the next annual election.”* In 
France there is no Deputy Grand Master, but in his 
place several assistant or acting Grand Masters, who 
form the council of the Grand Master, dispose of the 
routine business of the Grand Orient, and preside at 




its meetings in tlie absence of the chief officer. In 
the United States, where all the Grand Lodges pro- 
fess to be of the so-called “Ancient York Bite,” the 
officers are : 

A Grand Master (whose style is Most Worshipful). 

A Deputy Grand Master. 

A Senior Grand Warden. 

A Junior Grand Warden. 

A Grand Treasurer. 

A Grand Secretary. 

A Grand Chaplain. 

A Grand Marshal. 

A Grand Standard Bearer. 

A Grand Sword Bearer. 

Two or more Grand Stewards. 

A Senior Grand Deacon. 

A Junior Grand Deacon. 

(All of whom are styled Bight Worshipful.) 

A Grand Pursuivant. 

A Grand Tyler. 

(Who are styled Worshipful.) 

In some Grand Lodges there is a Grand Orator, a 
Grand Lecturer, and District Deputy Grand Mas- 
ters, and in others no Grand Pursuivant. In Penn- • 
sylvania the Grand Master is styled Bight Worship- 
ful, and the remaining officers Worshipful. These 
variations are of no particular importance other than 



affording proof of an unfortunate tendency to lose 
sight of that uniformity which ought to characterize 
our institution in all its doings, and to which, we ap- 
prehend, our successors will wish we had paid more 

Let us now examine the powers and duties of the 
several Grand officers above enumerated. 


Like the King, in monarchical countries, the Grand 
Master never dies. That is to say, the office, its pow- 
ers and prerogatives, remain intact whatever may 
become of the individual who, for the time being, is 
their custodian ; and hence, the acts of a Grand Mas- 
ter survive his tenure of office, and pass to his suc- 
cessor, to be by him maintained or reversed as cir- 
cumstances may to him aj>pear to require. 

The office of Grand Master has always existed. In 
all the history and traditions of the Craft, we can 
find no time when the Fraternity was not governed 
by a chief officer styled a Grand Master. His office 
is, therefore, not a creation of the Ancient Charges 
and regulations, nor of any modern constitution. And 
yet, while his prerogatives are in some things beyond 
any control but that of the Landmarks, it is not in 
all, from the fact that since the formation of Grand 
Lodges, the government of those bodies and of the 



Fraternity owing them allegiance is founded on writ- 
ten constitutions, which the Grand Master, in com- 
mon with the humblest Mason under his jurisdiction, 
is bound to observe and respect. Indeed, he enters 
into a solemn engagement at his installation, that he 
will do so, and he therefore waives, to that extent, 
his unlimited prerogatives. It will be found, more- 
over, that the commonly received notion that there 
can be no appeal from the decision of the Grand 
Master is not strictly true ; for on examining the 
transactions of Grand Lodges, it will be seen that 
the judgment of the Grand Master is overruled, and 
that to do otherwise would be, in fact, to admit his 
entire freedom from the weakness of human nature 
— a proposition too absurd for argument. The sov- 
ereignty, as we have repeatedly said, is in the Craft 
at large, and by their delegation is exercised by the 
Grand Lodge as their agent ; and the final decision 
of a case by that body, in annual communication, is 
in reality the only one from which there is no appeal. 
It is true, that during the interval from one session 
of the Grand Lodge to another, its executive powers 
are vested in the Grand Master, and all the high pre- 
rogatives of his office are then in full force ; but they 
are exercised by him on the condition of a review by 
the Grand Lodge, whenever a majority of its mem- 
bers think proper to exercise that right. This re- 



served power of the Grand Lodge is distinctly seen 
in the nineteenth article of the Regulations of 1721. 
“ If the Grand Master should abuse his power, and 
render himself unworthy of the obedience and sub- 
jection of the Lodges, he shall be treated in a way 
and manner to be agreed upon in a new regulation ; 
because hitherto the ancient Fraternity have had no 
occasion for it, their former Grand Masters having 
all behaved themselves worthy of that honorable of- 
fice.” Here we observe the distinct assertion of a 
power, to exercise discipline over the Grand Master, 
in any w T ay that may be agreed upon in a new regu- 
lation, and that if the power has not been exercised, 
it is because the brethren chosen to the responsible 
station of Grand Master have so demeaned them- 
selves as not to require it. But of the right there 
can be no question. Now, if the Grand Master can 
be put on trial, he can — the proof warranting — be 
expelled from the rights and privileges of the Craft ; 
and it follows that the same power that may disci- 
pline him, may also exercise the lesser act of sover- 
eignty in reversing his decisions. We may be ac- 
cused of taking an extreme view, and dispelling 
certain illusions that have hitherto been maintained, 
but we disclaim any such intention, and seek only to 
bring about a proper understanding of the real pow- 
ers of the officer of whom we are treating. We should 



be tlie last to lower the popular reverence for our 
chief officer, but we deem it well that his true posi- 
tion should be understood, both for the sake of the 
officer himself and for that of the Craft under his 
authority. "Whatever, therefore, may have been the 
original powers of the Grand Master, there can be 
no doubt but that those powders are now in some 
things amenable to the provisions of Grand Lodge 
constitutions and legislation, and that every Grand 
Master accepts office with a proviso that he w r ill not 
only enforce the laws and execute the legislative acts 
of the Grand Lodge, but that he will do so under 
the sanction of those laws and acts ; or, in other 
words, that while he exacts obedience from others, 
he will furnish a proper example by himself obeying 
the laws he executes. 

There are, of course, some of the powers belonging 
to the Grand Master which are in themselves land- 
marks, and therefore not subject to legislation ; but 
even these have yielded to the force of public opin- 
ion, as will be seen in the following enumeration of 
the prerogatives of the Grand Master. 

1. To convene the Grand Lodge at any time he 
may in his discretion deem proper. This is pre- 
cisely the same power exercised by a Master of a 
Lodge, and is subject to the same restriction ; name- 
ly, that the meetings thus called are but special or 



emergent meetings, at which no business affecting 
the general interests of the Craft can be transacted. 
The stated meeting of the Grand Lodge is its An- 
nual Communication, which meeting is always pro- 
vided for in the constitution or regulations, and is 
therefore not subject to the call of the Grand Master, 
nor has he any power to change it ; for if he had 
such power, and should exercise it, then the meeting 
would not be the Annual Communication, and the 
usual business of that session could not be lawfully 
transacted. At the Annual Communication, too, the 
order of business is generally fixed by regulation, 
which the Grand Master cannot change of his own 
authority, because he has agreed to observe and en- 
force the regulations of the Grand Lodge. 

2. To preside at all meetings of the Grand Lodge, 
whether stated or special. Although installed and 
proclaimed the Grand Master of Masons, his rela- 
tions to the Grand Lodge are the same in this re- 
spect as those of a Master to his Lodge. He is there- 
fore, by virtue of his office, the presiding officer, and 
it is the law that while so presiding there can be no 
appeal from his decision to that of the Grand Lodge 
— a law which, though generally observed, has its 
exceptions ; usually effected, it is true, by indirec- 
tion, but effected none the less. 

3. To summon any Lodge in the jurisdiction, to 



preside therein, and to require an account of its do- 
ings. This is one of the undoubted prerogatives of 
the Grand Master — one that is free from any restraint 
but his own judgment, and one that is in keeping 
with the nature of his office and the general princi- 
ples of the society, which make him the overseer of 
the Craft and necessarily clothe him with all the 
power requisite to an efficient discharge of such im- 
portant duties. 

4. To grant his letters of dispensation for the 
formation of new T Lodges under such restrictions as 
may be provided in the constitution of his Grand 
Lodge. As, for instance, it is provided in the consti- 
tution of the Grand Lodge of New York, “ that no 
dispensation to form a new Lodge shall be issued 
within three months of the Annual Communication/’ 
that a certain fee shall be exacted, and that certain 
recommendations should accompany the petition. 
Now t , it is true that the Grand Master might disre- 
gard all these requirements and issue his dispensa- 
tion to form a new Lodge, w T hich would have to be 
respected till the next Annual Communication of the 
Grand Lodge ; but it is clear that the body would 
not sanction so palpable a violation of its statutes, 
even at the hands of the Grand Master — that hence 
it w r ould refuse to recognize the new Lodge or its 
work, and therefore the Grand Master is bound, as 



an act of justice to the petitioners and in view of his 
own covenants, to respect the regulations that are 
made by his Grand Lodge. The Grand Master of 
England grants a full warrant, but the sanction of 
the Grand Lodge is required to complete the stand- 
ing of the Lodge, so that in reality there is but the 
difference of a name between the acts of the English 
Grand Master in constituting a new Lodge and that 
of an American Grand Master in issuing his dis- 
pensation to effect the same purpose. The real 
exercise of power in this respect being the right 
vested in the Grand Master to withhold his dispen- 
sation ; in which case it would, as a general thing, 
be folly on the part of the petitioners to expect a 
warrant from the Grand Lodge. Dispensations are 
likewise granted by the Grand Master for various 
purposes ; as — to shorten the interval between the 
degrees, for processions, and other purposes ; but 
generally, if not always, in accordance with the re- 
quirements of the general regulations of the Grand 

5. To constitute new Lodges and instal their offi- 
cers when a warrant has been issued by the Grand 
Lodge. This appears to be an independent power, 
for it is conceded that the warrant is of no effect un- 
til the Lodge has been duly constituted and its offi- 
cers installed — the power to do which is vested in 



the Grand Master, and can only be exercised by him 
or by his duly appointed agent or proxy. So, too, in 
the laying of corner-stones and the dedication of Ma- 
sonic halls, the Grand Master acts by the inherent 
authority of his office. 

6. To arrest the charter of a Lodge, or to suspend 
the Master or any of the officers from the functions 
of their respective stations until the annual meeting 
of the Grand Lodge. Under the constitution of the 
Grand Lodge of New York the Grand Master may 
absolutely suspend a warrant, and with it, in his dis- 
cretion, all the members of the Lodge ; but this is 
an exceptional case, the general rule being that the 
Grand Master simply arrests the powers of the war- 
rant for the time being, without in any way affecting 
the validity of that instrument ; that is, he forbids 
any further meetings of the Lodge, or the transac- 
tion of any business by it, until the next Annual Com- 
munication of the Grand Lodge ; but if at that an- 
nual meeting the Grand Lodge should fail to take 
action, the warrant would instantly become valid, 
and all the lawful powers accruing under it would at 
once inure to the Lodge, as completely as if no ar- 
rest had taken place. This prerogative is therefore 
but a part of the executive or supervisory power 
vested in the Grand Master during the recess of the 
Grand Lodge, and is exercised by him as the agent 



of the body and subject to such action as may appear 
judicious to it, when the facts are presented in the 
annual report of the officer. The recall of a Lodge 
under dispensation would of course be a finality, be- 
cause the process of creating a Lodge not having 
been completed by the vote of the Grand Lodge au- 
thorizing a warrant of constitution to issue, the Lodge 
would not have taken its place in the great family, 
nor would it be entitled to the immunities and privi- 
leges belonging to a regularly warranted and duly 
constituted Lodge. 

7. The right to make Masons at sight. This is 
undoubtedly an inherent and inalienable prerogative 
of the Grand Master, accorded to him by the Ancient 
Landmarks, and therefore not to be affected by any 
legislation of the Grand Lodge, except in so far as 
he may be willing to be advised by the lawfully ex- 
pressed will of the brethren,”* but is one which is 
seldom exercised, and one that will gradually become 
a tradition by the growing force of opinion, which is 
rapidly being educated into a belief that there should 
be but one entrance to the fold and that all aspirants 
should pass through it in like manner and under 

* Tims, in 1861, a resolution was passed by the Grand Lodge of 
New York, requesting the Grand Master not to issue dispensations 
to authorize the conferring three degrees on a candidate at one 
meeting (which is in reality making Masons at sight), since which 
time no such dispensation has been issued. 



similar restrictions. This prerogative has been the 
subject of a vast amount of discussion within a few 
years past, the net result of which seems to be a 
general concurrence in the opinion that the Grand 
Master may make Masons at sight, but that he must 
do so in a regular Lodge. The proviso, however, 
amounts to nothing, for the Grand Master certainly 
has power to do in person what he can authorize 
others to do by his dispensation, and as no one will 
dispute the right of a Lodge U. D. to make Masons, 
it follows that any six Master Masons summoned by 
the Grand Master to assist him, would, with himself, 
be to all intents and purposes a regular Lodge, con- 
vened at the will of the Grand Master and dissolved 
by a stroke of his gavel, when the purpose of its 
meeting had been accomplished.’ The restriction is 
therefore but an indication of the general sentiment, 
that Masons ought not to be made at all, except in 
the way provided in the old regulations ; that is, by 
previous notice, due inquiry, and after unanimous 
acceptance by some regular Lodge, at a stated com- 
munication. It has been well said by the M. W. 
John L. Lewis : “ There is no conceivable case which, 
to my mind, presents a necessity for the exercise of 
the power. It ever resolves itself into a question of 
convenience . Going upon a voyage or a long journey 
leads to the inquiry why the petition was not made 



in a proper time before the voyage or journey was 
undertaken. If a return be contemplated, then the 
petition can await the return. The dispensing power 
which arrests the requirements of written constitu- 
tions, nay, of landmarks, cannot be a landmark itself, 
and should be exercised with caution. Every candi- 
date should pass the investigations of a discreet com- 
mittee and the scrutiny of a secret ballot, before 
admission to the portals of our Temple. “ Making 
Masons at sight” leads to hasty and imperfect work 
— to half-comprehended and confusedly-received in- 
struction, and frequently to differences among breth- 
ren. It is the fruitful source of complaint where 
these hastily-made Masons go. The exercise of the 
power is asked always from selfish, not to say mer- 
cenary motives ; for the avowed object is always 
some personal advantage to the applicant. It rarely 
benefits the candidate who thus receives the degrees, 
and its refusal can rarely injure him. The rush at 
the gates of the institution is sufficiently great with- 
out the action of Grand officers to smooth the way.” 
Few Masons having the good of the Craft at heart 
will dispute the truth of the words here quoted ; and 
it is to be hoped that the day is not far distant when, 
by common consent, making Masons at sight will be 
among the things heard of but not seen. 

8. The power to heal irregularly-made Masons. 



Having occasion, a few years since, to investigate 
this topic in an official capacity, we found two ques- 
tions presenting themselves for solution. First — 
What is healing ? and secondly, By what authority 
is it to be performed ? We found great diversity of 
opinion among those we had always looked to for 
authority, and, after much correspondence and dis- 
cussion, finally arrived at the conclusion that to heal 
is in reality to remake the irregular Mason — abbre- 
viating the ceremonies, omitting the monitorial in- 
struction, but giving the essentials as in the case of 
a profane. As this process is equivalent to making 
Masons at sight, it readily follows that the power to 
control it is in the Grand Master, and that he may 
exercise it in person or by dispensation to any regu- 
lar Lodge in his jurisdiction. 

9. The right of appointment. By referring to the 
regulations of 1721, it will be seen that originally the 
Grand Master wielded an almost unlimited patron- 
age, in the way of appointments to the subordinate 
offices of the Grand Lodge. He named his Deputy 
and W 7 ardens and various other officers required, ex- 
cept the Treasurer, who was always elected. In 
England and on the continent such is the custom to 
this day, but in the United States the first six offi- 
cers of a Grand Lodge are generally made elective, 
while the remainder are usually appointed by the 



Grand Master. He likewise appoints the committees 
and representatives near other Grand Lodges and 
Grand Orients. 

10. As a necessary adjunct of the appointing power 
there can be no doubt but that the Grand Master 
may, in the exercise of his discretion, summon any 
Grand officer before him, require an account of his 
doings, and for cause suspend him from the functions 
of his office, or even remove him altogether. 

11. By the constitutions of 1721 the Grand Master 
is entitled to two votes, but this is understood to ap- 
ply only to cases of a tie, when he gives the casting 

It will be seen from the foregoing summary that 
the powers of the Grand Master are not as absolute 
as the popular traditions would have us believe — that 
even the powers which are indisputably his are sel- 
dom exercised but in obedience to the regulations 
established by the Grand Lodge, and that as he is 
the first Mason in his jurisdiction, so he should bo 
the most prompt in his obedience to the laws which 
he administers. Of the powers of the Grand Master, 
Dr. Oliver well says : “ There are instances in which 
it is presumed that the Grand Master can do no 
wrong, because he is protected by his prerogative 
and justified by an appeal to the Grand Lodge. But 
this is a doubtful doctrine, and ought to be received 



with caution, although it derives a negative corrobo- 
ration from the constitution of 1721 , which admits 
that an abuse of power has never yet occurred, and 
therefore it is unprovided for by the text of Masonic 

“ The Grand Lodges of the United States enter- 
tain adverse opinions on this point ; for while tljose 
of Maryland and Florida have pronounced that an 
‘ appeal from the decision of the Grand Master is an 
anomaly at war with every principle of Freemasonry, 
and as such not for a moment to be tolerated or 
countenanced,’ others have promulgated a contrary 
doctrine ; but even these admit that the only real 
and practical penalty at them disposal is the free ex- 
pression of public opinion on his presumed delin- 
quencies. But as the power of the Grand Master is 
derived from the Grand Lodge, and that body is 
composed of delegates elected by the private Lodges, 
if he should commit any flagrant act of injustice the 
veto of the latter will determine, at the ensuing elec- 
tion, whether he shall continue in an office whose li- 
cense he has abused by ignoring the opinions of the 
Craft and acting in open violation of the constitu- 
tions. For what is each private Lodge but a local 
legislature, while the Grand Lodge constitutes a vent 
for the collective wisdom of its members.” 

“It is well for the general interests of Masonry 



that such is the fact ; for it is a sound doctrine that 
the opinions of the whole united body ought to sway 
the counsels of their delegates, and prevent any of- 
fensive exercise of arbitrary power in the Grand 
Master.” * 

“ Prejudice, partiality, or caprice, may influence 
the judgment of a single individual, and produce de- 
plorable consequences, however virtuous in intention 
or honorable in conduct he may be, which in delib- 
erative bodies of men could never happen. Such is 
the security which Masons possess against the wilful 
aggression of their rulers.” 

The Grand Master is required by the ancient reg- 
ulations, and all subsequent constitutions, to be 
elected annually, but it does not follow that there 
need necessarily to be a change at each election. 
The tendency is indeed the other way — especially in 
Europe, where it may almost be said to be a life 
tenure. “ During the last century,” says Dr. Oliver, 
“ the prevailing custom was to change the Grand 
Master every year or two, in order to induce a greater 
number of the nobility to enter the Order, who were 
by this practice furnished with an opportunity of 
being placed at its head, and acquiring for the re- 
mainder of their lives the distinguished rank of a 
Past Grand Master ; but for the last sixty or seventy 
years the office has been a life appointment. His 



Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge was elected 
in 1781, and held the office nine years. At his death, 
in 1790, His Eoyal Highness the Prince of Wales 
was elected in his stead. He held the office twenty- 
three years, and when he became Prince Regent, in 
1813, he resigned the Grand Mastership and assumed 
the title of Grand Patron, and his brother, the Duke 
of Sussex, was elected, who held the office till his 
death, in 1843, being thirty years. The present 
Grand Master was then chosen, and has filled the 
throne ever since.” So that at present England has 
no Past Grand Master. Instances are not wanting, 
in our own country, of long tenure of office, as in the 
case of the late M. W. Philip C. Tucker, of Vermont, 
and others ; but our bustling, active life, and the fact 
that our Grand Masters are usually business men, 
make the political axiom of “ rotation in office” ap- 
ply till it has become a rule sanctioned by custom to 
consider two years as about the term of service that 
may be required of one incumbent. The present 
Grand Master of France, Marshall Magnan, was ap- 
pointed to his station by the Emperor, without the 
formality of an election by the representatives of the 
Fraternity in the Grand Orient. This proceeding 
was evidently a political coup , as the French term it, 
and was doubtless acquiesced in by the Craft to pre- 
vent worse consequences befalling them. A subse- 



quent attempt to coerce the society into the adoption 
of measures that would have made it a mere puppet 
in the hands of the astute monarch, was, however, 
gallantly and successfully resisted, showing that 
there, as elsewhere, the brethren are not disposed to 
yield up the inherent sovereignty that of right be- 
longs to them. 


Unlike the office of Grand Master, which has al- 
ways existed, that of Deputy is a creation of the Reg- 
ulations of 1721, previous to which time there does 
not appear to have been such an officer. As the title 
indicates, he is the immediate assistant of the Grand 
Master, and his lawful successor when from any cause 
the Grand Master is unable to act. The object of his 
appointment may be gathered from the sixteenth ar- 
ticle of the Regulations of 1721 : “The Grand Mas- 
ter should receive no intimation of business concern- 
ing Masonry, but from his Deputy first, except in 
such certain cases as his Worship can well judge of ; 
for if the application to the Grand Master be irregu- 
lar, he can easily order the Grand Wardens, or any 
other brethren thus applying, to wait upon his Dep- 
uty, who is to prepare the business speedily, and lay 
it orderly before his Worship.” 



He lias no powers but such as are specially con- 
ferred upon him by his Grand Lodge constitution, 
and as these vary somewhat in each jurisdiction, it 
would be difficult, if not impossible, to state any gen- 
eral rule applying to his office. In the State of New 
York, the Deputy Grand Master is clothed with con- 
siderable power ; he may grant dispensations to cre- 
ate new Lodges and for conferring degrees, arrest 
charters, etc., but as all his acts are liable to be re- 
versed at any time by the Grand Master, he necessa- 
rily proceeds with great caution. In Minnesota, his 
powers are altogether latent, and only to be called 

into exercise in case of the death, absence, or inabil- 

ity of the Grand Master. Thus, a dispensation to 
form a new Lodge, granted by the Deputy in that 
State, was held to be irregular, and the Masons made 
under it were required to be healed. We incline to 
the opinion that Minnesota is right, and that the 
true office of the Deputy Grand Master is to prepare 
any business concerning Masonry that may be re- 
quired to be laid before the Grand Master, to act as 
his proxy when required, and be prepared in case of 
need to succeed to his functions. In the United 
States, the Deputy Grand Master is generally elected, 
but in other countries he is appointed by the Grand 




The duties of a Grand Warden are similai to those 
of the Warden of a particular Lodge. They stand 
next in rank and dignity to the Deputy Grand Mas- 
ter, and succeed in order of seniority to the duties of 
the Grand Master when required so to do by the ab- 
sence of their superior officers. As in the Lodge, 
too, the offices of Senior and Junior Grand Warden 
are entirely separate, and it does not follow that be- 
cause the Senior Grand Warden is absent, that the 
Junior is to take his place, or that in the absence of 
the Deputy the Senior Grand Warden is to sit on the 
left of the Grand Master, but in case of a vacancy in 
either office it is to be temporarily filled by appoint- 
ment of the Grand Master. The rule of succession 
only applies, in either case, when all the superior of- 
ficers are absent. They have no other prerogative 
except that of presiding in subordinate Lodges when- 
ever they are present in company with the Grand 
Master. They form part of the cabinet or council of 
the Grand Master, and are always consulted in rela- 
tion to the business of the Grand Lodge. In Europe, 
they are appointed. In this country, the Grand 
Lodges reserve the right of electing them. 




The duties of this officer are strictly financial. He 
takes charge of all the properties, funds, and Touch- 
ers of the Grand Lodge, pays all orders properly 
drawn upon the money in his custody, is required to 
give bonds for the faithful performance of his duties, 
to submit his books and vouchers to inspection when- 
ever required by the Grand Master or Grand Lodge, 
and to pay over to his successor all funds, property, 
and vouchers remaining in his hands at the expira- 
tion of his term of office. 

The first Grand Treasurer seems to have been ap- 
pointed in 1727, and the duties expected of him are 
very fully defined in the old Regulations. He con- 
tinued in office till 1738, when a Grand Treasurer 
was elected, and since that time the office has always 
been filled by the votes of the members of the Grand 
Lodge. He is by virtue of his office a member of 
the body. 


This office was first created in 1723, and has grown 
in importance with the vast proportions assumed by 
the society till now it is at once a post of distinction 
and a laborious charge upon its incumbent. Its du- 
ties are of such a responsible nature that none but 



men of education and refinement should accept its 
honors, or be elected to the discharge of its duties. 
As the amanuensis of the Grand Lodge, the Grand 
Secretary is brought into contact with brethren from 
all parts of the globe, and should be able by his ur- 
banity and courtesy to convey a favorable impression 
of the body he represents. He not only issues sum- 
mons for all meetings of the Grand Lodge and its 
committees, but is bound to attend them with his 
books when required, in order that he may impart 
information and take a careful record of the proceed- 
ings, to be read for information at subsequent meet- 
ings and to be preserved in the archives for future 
reference. The returns of all subordinate Lodges 
are made to him, and he is in most jurisdictions re- 
quired to keep a correct registry of their members. 
He is to receive, duly file, and safely keep all papers 
and documents of the Grand Lodge, to sign and cer- 
tify all instruments emanating from it, to receive and 
keep a proper account of all moneys of the Grand 
Lodge and pay them over to the Grand Treasurer, 
and to report annually to his Grand Lodge a detailed 
account of his acts. In addition to his clerical du- 
ties, he is frequently — in this country — the chairman 
of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence, and 
is charged with the correspondence of the Grand 
Lodge, under direction of the Grand Master. In the 



important and often delicate questions that are 
treated in this correspondence, great tact and dis- 
crimination are required, and the mental calibre of 
the officer is here put to its severest test. Though 
but limited discretion is given the Grand Secretary- 
in recording the official transactions of the Grand 
Lodge, which, being presented in the form of written 
resolutions, reports, etc., he has little more to do 
than to arrange in the Order of their presentation, he 
may, and ought, by a proper use of the material that 
passes through his hands, prepare and preserve a 
history of the great Masonic events of his day that 
should have the quality of correctness and the value 
of being official. 

This office comes nearest a life-tenure of any con- 
nected with our Grand Lodges, the same brother be- 
ing generally continued in it by successive re-elec- 
tions as long as he chooses to serve. 


This office, although of modern origin, the first 
Grand Chaplain having been appointed in 1775, has 
now very properly been assigned a place in all the 
American Grand Lodges. It is a graceful tribute to 
that religious principle that should underlie all great 
institutions, and is peculiarly becoming in our Grand 
Lodges, which admit the fundamental truths all re- 



ligions, but pay no heed to the distinctions of creed 
or sect, it being no uncommon thing for several 
Grand Chaplains to be appointed, each of whom 
represents a different religious denomination. The 
duty of a Grand Chaplain is to conduct the religious 
ceremonies of the Grand Lodge, as well in its usual 
assemblies as on occasions of public ceremony. 


This is an office which seems to have been created 
in the days when Masonic processions were more 
frequent than they are now, or, we trust, are ever 
likely to become again, and the duty of this officer — 
as the name implies — was to conduct them. In these 
days, and in such Grand Lodges as appoint a Grand 
Marshal, he is stationed near the Grand Master, to 
assist in maintaining order and observing such com- 
mands as may be given him by the presiding officer. 
He is required to take charge of processions of the 
Grand Lodge, should any occur. 


This is one of the appointed officers in some Grand 
Lodges, but by no means in all. His duty is to take 
charge of the banner of the Grand Lodge in all pub- 
lic processions. 




Like tlie Standard Bearer, this officer is appointed 
by the Grand Master. His special duty is to carry 
the state sword immediately in front of the Grand 
Master, in public ceremonials in which the Grand 
Lodge participates. 


These officers, as implied by their title, were form- 
erly charged, in conjunction with the Grand War- 
dens, with the preparations for the annual feast, an 
indispensible accompaniment of the Grand Annual 
Communication which was held on St. John’s Day, 
in June or December, as the Grand Lodge by regu- 
lation should decide — usually in June. They made 
the necessary purchases, sold the tickets bearing tho 
Grand Master’s seal, and rendered their accounts to 
the Grand Lodge “ after dinner,” as will be found in 
the thirteenth and fourteenth of the old Regulations. 
Such, we believe, is the custom in England to this 
day ; but in America the annual feast — except, per- 
haps, in one or two instances — has become obsolete, 
and the communications of Grand Lodges are de- 
voted to the regular business of the Craft. The 
Grand Stewards are now generally charged with the 
investigation of applications for assistance on the 



part of indigent brethren, widows, and orphans, from 
the funds of the Grand Lodge. 


Are appointed officers, and like the Deacons of a 
Lodge are the messengers of the Grand Master and 
Grand Wardens. They are stationed near the Grand 
Master, in all public processions and ceremonials. 
The Grand Marshal, Grand Standard Bearer, Grand 
Sword Bearer, Grand Stewards, and Grand Deacons 
have no powers or prerogatives, merely obeying such 
orders as may be issued to them, and are generally 
termed, in military parlance, the Staff of the Grand 


Whose title comes down to us from the days of 
chivalry, is a kind of assistant Tyler, and exercises 
functions analagous to those of the Junior Deacon of 
a Lodge, being placed inside the porch of the Tem- 
ple to maintain order among those congregated there, 
and to see that none pass or repass without the req- 
uisite permission. 


Like his prototype in the subordinate Lodge, is 
placed outside the gate and charged with watch and 



ward against all who are not entitled to pass. Al- 
though the lowest in rank of the Grand officers, ho 
is certainly not the least important, for on him rests 
the responsibility of a careful guard against cowans 
and a courteous welcome to the true. It is of the 
highest importance that he should not lightly vouch 
for any one ; for, as having been present with a per- 
son in Grand Lodge is considered the highest au- 
thority for admitting him to a subordinate one, a 
mistake here might lead to many others. The Grand 
Poursuivant and Grand Tyler are usually Past Mas- 
ters of long standing, and are generally paid a mod- 
erate salary for their services. 


In the earlier days of Masonry on the American 
continent, it was usual to appoint a number of breth- 
ren in each Grand Lodge jurisdiction, under the title 
of “ Grand Visitors,” who were employed in journey- 
ing about the State, visiting the Lodges, examining 
their work, instructing them when required, and at- 
tending to such other business connected with the 
welfare of the Craft as might be confided to them by 
the Grand Lodge or Grand Master ; but with the in- 
crease of Lodges and Masons, the labor has been 
divided, the “ work” being placed in charge of Grand 
Lecturers, and the other business in that of District 



Deputy Grand Masters. The present idea of a Grand 
Lecturer seems to be, that he shall have the quality 
of being able to recite the words of the ritual with 
undeviating accuracy as often as may be required, 
which point being reached, nothing further is looked 
for by the Craft, and rarely, if ever, offered by the 
Lecturer. For this state of affairs the Grand Lec- 
turers are not to be held responsible ; they are ap- 
pointed to comply with a certain demand, and they 
do it ; but it is to be regretted that public sentiment 
should have been so viciously educated, and that the 
formal repetition of set phrases should have come to 
be considered of such vital importance to Masonry, 
to the exclusion, in too many instances, of higher 
and nobler themes — to the making of the paths that 
lead to the Temple of greater importance than all 
the glorious arcana within its precincts. Masonry is 
a science, and as such appeals to men of intelligence 
and education, and offers a sure reward to the indus- 
trious seeker after its hidden mysteries ; but such 
men will not and cannot be hampered by the mere 
words in which the formulas of initiation shall be 
communicated or explained, nor will they consent to 
fritter away precious time in chasing the shadows of 
verbiage when they can be better employed in pur- 
suit of solid attainments, of which our system offers 
such an abundance. We have, then, no hesitation in 



saying that we have seen with sincere regret the spe- 
cial efforts made within a few years to bend the ener- 
gies of the Craft to the attainment of uniformity in 
the ritual — a chimera as unsubstantial as the visions 
of the night ; that, so far from producing the desired 
end, has but resulted in the estrangement of breth- 
ren, in differences among the workmen on different 
parts of the building, in the intrusion of crude ideas 
hatched in the brains of unlettered men — always pre- 
sented, however, as the ancient work ; in short, of 
making confusion worse confounded, and substituting 
the exercise of the lips for the legitimate work of the 
brain. That the Gran^l Lodge is the lawful custo- 
dian of the work, we freely admit, and, that it should 
always endeavor to maintain the essentials of the 
ritual in the simple quaintness of the fathers, we ac- 
knowledge, but we can see in this no reason why a 
legitimate duty should be made the vehicle of an at- 
tempt to force all men to think and see alike, or to 
assert an equality of intellect where the Great Archi- 
tect has refused so to make men ; much less can it 
be made the apology for secret combinations in be- 
half of particular systems, by the introduction of 
which it is hoped not only to make individual in- 
structors always use the same identical words, but 
to reduce the general mind to a certain line, from 
which it shall never swerve to the right or left by the 



breadth of a hair. Yet we have witnessed within a 
few years a combined, systematic, and secret attempt 
to displace the authority of Grand Lodges in this 
particular, and substitute one set of words for an- 
other ; and we have seen, too, that it has given rise 
to more heart-burnings, ill blood, and unmasonic 
demonstrations than anything that has been sought 
to be fixed upon the institution since its introduction 
into this country. And the men, too, who are most 
ardent in this work are generally those who scarcely 
know that Masonry has a history, a philosophy, or a 
literature ; who are innocently unaware that the 
“ work” which secures their admiration and com- 
mands their zeal is but one of the variations that 
have been made from time to time since the days of 
the great innovator Preston, and those of his imita- 
tor and still greater innovator Webb. The original 
degrees of Masonry have been so buried under the 
multiplied additions of ritualists, for the last hun- 
dred years, that the Masons of the present day — 
choose what system they will — cannot hope to ap- 
proach the simplicity of the original. Why, then, 
devote our time and attention to mere words ? Why 
quarrel about A, B, or C’s work, when we know that 
neither of them is anything more than a new version 
of an old story, and that not one of them is in truth 
the true work practised so recently as 1717 ? Let 



us rather seek to retain the essential features of the 
ritual, with less regard for the mere words in which 
our ideas may be conveyed, or at least without mak- 
ing the power of machine-like repetition the test of 
Masonic perfection. 

From these premises the reader will easily arrive 
at the conclusion, that a Grand Lecturer should be 
something more than a ritualist ; that he should be 
able to instruct the brethren not only in the forms 
and ceremonies of the several degrees, but in the 
hidden meaning of the symbols ; that, having led 
them through the courts of the Temple, he should 
be able to put aside the vail that conceals the inner 
mysteries, and direct their investigations to higher 
and nobler themes. 

When such are the qualifications required of Grand 
Lecturers, and they prepare themselves accordingly, 
a brighter day will dawn upon Masonry, and its dis- 
ciples will have arrived one stage nearer the accom- 
plishment of its mission. 


The officers who bear this title have been known 
to the Craft but a short time, the office having been 
created to supply a want growing out of the vast in- 
crease of the society in modem times. They have, 
therefore, no inherent powers, and only exercise such 



functions as may be specially given them by the con- 
stitutions of the Grand Lodge for which they act. 
They are really Assistant Deputy Grand Masters, but 
are distinguished from the real Deputy by the fact, 
that while he may exercise the powers of his office 
in any part of the jurisdiction, they are limited to the 
supervision of a certain number of Lodges called, for 
convenience sake, a Masonic district, whence their 
title. Although the powers exercised by them vary 
somewhat in different localities, the general idea is, 
that they shall visit all the Lodges in their district 
at least once in each year, examine their records and 
proceedings, collect statistics of their numbers and 
progress, and report annually to the Grand Lodge 
their standing, and what — if any — legislation is re- 
quired to promote their welfare and prosperity. 

The appointment of these officers is but an exten- 
sion of the twentieth of the old Regulations, which 
requires the “ Grand Master, with his Deputy and 
Wardens, to go round and visit all the Lodges about 
town (at least once) during his Mastership.” When 
that regulation was adopted, there were not, prob- 
ably, a dozen Lodges in London, so that the call 
upon the Grand Master’s time was not onerous ; bui 
in some of the American jurisdictions, where there 
are from two hundred and fifty to five hundred 
Lodges, a single visit to each would be a severe tax 



upon the Grand Master’s time. Moreover, it it quite 
as necessary to visit Lodges out of cities as those in 
them, and it was therefore necessary to devise some 
plan by which that object could be accomplished ; 
and this, in our judgment, was most happily effected 
in the creation of the office of District Deputy. 

The brethren who accept these offices by no means 
acquire honor without labor ; on the contrary, the 
duties required of them demand much time, no small 
amount of patience, good address, and familiarity 
with the laws and usages of the society. In some of 
the country districts, where the Lodges are located 
at considerable distances from each other, it is often 
necessary for the Deputy to leave his usual avoca- 
tions and travel many weary miles, in the discharge 
of his duty ; and yet, we are proud to say, those du- 
ties are rarely neglected. The benefits that thus ac- 
crue to Masonry may not be lightly estimated ; and 
while we should be glad, for the sake of the Craft, to 
see the system adopted in every Grand Lodge juris- 
diction, and trust to see it always continued in our 
own, we would bespeak a larger appreciation of the 
officers themselves, and such a recognition of their 
importance as would enable them to appear in Grand 
Lodge at the Annual Communications, without ex- 
pense to them individually. While the Masters and 
Wardens represent their particular Lodges, the Dis- 



trict Deputies represent a number, and are qualified 
bj actual inspection to speak of their condition and 
needs, and thus enable the Grand Lodge to legislate 
advisedly on matters that relate to the welfare of the 
great body of the Craft. 

Their immediate value, however, is in the fact of 
their availability in arranging unseemly bickerings, 
and preserving that concord and unity so essential 
to the well-being of Lodges, by counsel, by admoni- 
tion, and — when needed — by the strong hand of au- 
thority. A kind word spoken in season may quench 
the fires of passion about to break forth, and while 
the belligerents, from a sense of wounded or mis- 
taken pride, might fail to allow for each other’s 
faults, or take the first step toward reconciliation, 
the District Deputy could gracefully do so, as one of 
the duties of his office ; and if these brethren never 
did anything else, we hold that their appointment 
would be most commendable. 

•' s 

°r The r 

i UNi VER8tTY ) 

Vp y 



To the M. W. Grand Master of Masons of the State of 

The undersigned petitioners, being Ancient Free and Accepted 
Master Masons, having the prosperity of the fraternity at heart, 
and willing to exert their best endeavors to promote and diffuse 
the genuine principles of Masonry, respectfully represent — That 

they are desirous of forming a new Lodge in the of 

to be named No They therefore pray for letters of 

dispensation, to empower them to assemble as a regular Lodge, to 
discharge the duties of Masonry, in a regular and constitutional 
manner, according to the original forms of the Order, and the reg- 
ulations of the Grand Lodge. They have nominated and do recom- 
mend Brother A. B. to be the first Master ; Brother 0. I), to be 
the first Senior Warden, and Brother E. F. to be the first Junior 
Warden, of said Lodge. If the prayer of this petition shall be 
granted, they promise a strict conformity to the edicts of the Grand 
Master, and the constitution, laws and regulations of the Grand 


To all whom it may concern: 

Know ye, That we, A. B., Most Worshipful Grand Alas ter of An- 
cient, Free and Accepted Masons of , having received a peti- 

tion from a constitutional number of brethren, who have been 
properly vouched for as Master Masons in good standing, setting 
forth that, having the honor and prosperity of the Craft at heart, 

they are desirous of establishing a new Lodge at under our 

masonic jurisdiction, and requesting a Dispensation for the same : 



And whereas there appears to us good and sufficient cause for 
granting the prayer of the said petition ; we, by virtue of the pow- 
ers in us vested by the ancient Constitutions of the Order, do grant 
this our Dispensation, empowering Brother A. B. to act as Wor- 
shipful Master, Brother C. D. to act as Senior Warden, and Bro- 
ther E. F. to act as Junior Warden of a Lodge to be held under 

our jurisdiction at by the name of And we further 

authorize the said brethren to Enter , Pass t and liaise Freemasons, 
according to the Ancient Constitutions of the Order, the customs 
and usages of the Craft, and the Rules and Regulations of the 

Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of and not otherwise. And 

this our Dispensation shall continue of force until the Grand 
Lodge aforesaid shall grant a Warrant of Constitution for the same, 
or this Dispensation be revoked by us, or the authority of the 
aforesaid Grand Lodge. 

Given under our hand, and the seal 

[L. S.] of the Grand Lodge, at this 

day of , A. \ L. \ 58 . 

Q R 

Y Z Grand Master. 

Grand Secretary. 


Grand Master. 

Dep. G. Master. 

Sen. G. Warden. 

Jun. G. Warden. 

We, the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fra- 
ternity of Free and Accepted Masons, of the State of in 

Ample Form assembled, according to the Old Constitutions, regu- 
larly and solemnly established under the auspices of Prince Edwin, 
at the city of York, in Great Britain, in the year of Masonry 4926, 
viz. : 

The Most Worshipful Grand Master, 

The Right Worshipful Dep. G. Master, 

The Right Worshipful Sen. G. Warden, 

do, by these presents, appoint, authorize, and empower our worthy 



brother to be the Master ; our worthy brother to 

be the Senior Warden ; and our worthy brother to be the 

Junior Warden, of a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, to be, 

by virtue hereof, constituted, formed, and held in 

which Lodge shall be distinguished by the name or style of 

and the said Master and Wardens, and their successors in office, 
are hereby respectively authorized and directed, by and with the 
consent and assistance of a majority of the members of the said 
Lodge, duly to be summoned and present upon such occasions, to 
elect and install the officers of the said Lodge as vacancies happen, 
in manner and form as is, or may be, prescribed by the Constitu- 
tion of this Grand Lodge. 

And further, the said Lodge is hereby invested with full power 
and authority to assemble upon proper and lawful occasions, to 
make Masons, and to admit members, as also to do and perform 
all and every such acts and things appertaining to the Craft as 
have been and ought to be done, for the honor and advantage 
thereof, conforming in all their proceedings to the Constitution of 
this Grand Lodge, otherwise this Warrant, and the powers thereby 
granted, to cease and be of no further effect. 

Given under our hands and the seal of our Grand Lodge, at 

the city of in the United States of America, this. . . . 

day of in the year of our Lord one thousand eight 

hundred and and in the year of Masonry five thou- 
sand eight hundred and 

Grand Secretary. 

Registered in the Book of the Grand Lodge, 

Page .... 


To all F bee and Accepted Masons on the face of the globe 
— Greeting : 

We, the Master and Wardens of Lodge No. . . . Free and 

Accepted Masons, constituted under a charter from the M. W. 

Grand Lodge of the State of do certify that our worthy 

brother has been regularly initiated as an Entered Appren- 




tice, passed to the degree of Fellow Craft, and raised to the sub- 
lime degree of Master Mason, and is distinguished for his zeal and 
fidelity to the Craft W e do therefore recommend that he be re- 
ceived and acknowledged as such by all true and accepted Freema- 
sons wheresoever dispersed. 

In testimony whereof we have granted him this certificate under 
our hands and the seal of the Lodge (having first caused our wor- 
thy brother to sign his name in the margin), this day of 

A.D. 18.., A. L. 58.. 

W. M. S. W. 

Sec’y. J. W. 

This is to certify that Lodge No. . . is a legally consti- 

tuted Lodge, working under the jurisdiction of the M. W. Grand 

Lodge of 


Grand Sec’y- 


TFe, the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, by these presents 
testify and declare to all whom it may concern, that our brother 
who has signed his name in the margin hereof, is a reg- 
ular Master Mason of Lodge No. . . , as appeal's to us by the 

certificate of the said Lodge held under our jurisdiction in the 

county of State of New York, in the United States 

of America. In testimony w’hereof w’e have caused our seal to be 
hereunto affixed, and our Grand Secretary to subscribe the same, 
at the city of New York, this . . day of A. D. 18. . A. L. 58. . 

Grand Secretary. 



Lodge No 

Acknowledging the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the State 
of to all whom it may concern, greeting : This certifies 



that brother whose name appears in the margin of this 

dimit, is a Master Mason, and was a member of this Lodge in good 
standing and clear of the books, and as such we do cordially com- 
mend him to the fraternal guard of all true Free and Accepted Ma- 
sons, wherever dispersed around the globe. 

In testimony whereof we have caused this dimit to be signed by 
the Master, and the seal of the Lodge to be attached, this .... day 
of A. D. 18.., A. L. 58.. 

Secretary. Master. 


The first step to be taken toward a Masonic trial is, of course, to 
prefer charges, or make a complaint. The important requisites of 
a complaint are, that it should be brief, and yet comprehensive, 
clearly defining the nature of the offense charged, with an accurate 
specifying of the time, place and circumstances of its commission. 
This, when the transaction took place out of the Lodge, may be 
preferred by any brother, but should properly be presented by the 
Junior Warden. It may be in this form : 

1. — Complaint. 

To the W. Master, Wardens and Brethren of Triluminar Lodge, 
No. 800 : Brother A. B. is hereby charged with immoral and unma- 
sonic conduct : 

First Specification. — That the said A. B., on the first day of April 

1859, in the public street, at Freetown, in the county of was 

in a state of intoxication from the use of strong and spirituous liq- 
ors, in violation of his duty as a Mason, and to the scandal and 
disgrace of the Masonic Fraternity. 

Second Specification. — That the said A. B., on the first day of 
April, 1859, at Freetown aforesaid, and at various other times and 
places, in the year 1859, was intoxicated with strong and spiritu- 
ous liquors, although admonished therefor by the Master and War- 
dens of this Lodge, in violation of his duty as a Mason, to the great 
scandal and disgrace of the Fraternity ; and it is hereby demand- 
ed, that the said A. B. be dealt with therefor, according to Ma- 
sonic law and usage. 

S. L., Junior Waiden. 

Dated April 9, 1859. 



2 .— Complaint (in another form.) * 

To the W. Master, Wardens and Brethren of Trilaminar Lodge, 
No. 800 : Brother C. D. is hereby charged with immoral and unma - 
sonic conduct : 

First Specification . — That the said C. D., on the first day of April, 

1859, at Freetown, in the county of in the presence and 

hearing of Bro. E. F., and others, spoke and declared of Bro. G. 
H., of Anchor Lodge, No. 801, these words in substance : that the 
said G. H. was a dishonest man ; that he was a knave and a cheat ; 
and that he was a liar, to the great injury of the said G. H., and 
to the common scandal and disgrace of the Masonic Fraternity. 

Second Specification . — That the said C. D., on the first day of 
April, 1859, at Freetown aforesaid, in the presence and hearing of 
Mr. Y. Z., and others, publicly spoke and declared of the said G. 
H., who was not present, that he, the said G. H., was a dishonest 
man, a knave, a cheat and a liar, in violation of the duties of the 
said C. D. as a Master Mason, to the great injury of the said G. 
H., and to the common scandal and disgrace of the said Anchor 
Lodge, No. 801, and of the Masonic Fraternity ; and it is therefore 
hereby demanded, that the said C. D. be put upon trial therefor. 

S. L., Junior Warden. 

Dated April 9, 1859. 

These forms might be indefinitely multiplied, but these will be 
sufficient to show the manner and importance of specifying time, 
place and circumstances constituting the offense. 

This charge (and that contained in the first form will hereafter 
be followed) having been presented in open Lodge, and received, 
the Master thereupon appoints commissioners to hear and try the 
same, pursuant to the provisions of the constitution, which is en- 
tered upon the minutes. The charges need not be entered, but 
the nature of them should be. It is then the duty of the Secretary 
immediately to serve upon the accused a copy of the charges, with 
the following notice annexed : 

3. — Notice of Charges, 

Bro. A. B. : Take notice, that the within (or foregoing) is a copy 
of the charges preferred against you, at a stated communication of 
Triluminar Lodge, No. 800, held on the 9th of April, iust, and 



that Bros. R. S., T. U. and V. N. were 
to hear and try the same. 

Dated, April 10, 1859. 

appointed commissioners 
P. Q., Secretary. 

Should the commissioners determine, at the time the charges 
are preferred (and it is recommended that they should in all cases, 
if possible), when and where they will meet for trial, the Secretary 
may add to the above notice the following : “and that they will 
meet for that purpose on the 20th instant, at 7o’clock p. m., at 
Triluminar Lodge room, at Freetown, at or before which time 
you are required to answer said charges.” 

In case the accused absent himself, so that the charges cannot 
be personally served, the copy may be transmitted by mail, if his 
residence be known ; if not, after a reasonable time, and after dil- 
igent inquiry, the Secretary should report the fact to the Lodge 
for their further action. In all cases the prosecutor or Secretary 
should take care that the accused be served with notice of the time 
and place of meeting of the commissioners for trial, at the time of 
service of the charges. 

The charges being served, it is the first duty of the accused, if 
he has an objection to any of the commissioners, to make his chal- 
lenge, that the master, if satisfied that there is ground for it, 
may supply the vacant place by another appointment. If there 
be doubts as to its foundation, the master, or other commission- 
ers, may act as triers ; but it is recommended that if there be rea- 
sonable objection, or probable cause therefor be manifest, that the 
commissioner challenged remove all question by resignation. 

The tribunal being properly constituted, it is next the duty of 
the accused to answer the charges. As this must be in every 
case equivalent to the well-known plea of “Not Guilty,” it is 
scarcely necessary to furnish a form, yet, for the sake of making 
up a complete record, in cases of appeal, one is subjoined : 

4r. — Answer. 

C. D., in person, denies the charges mado against him, and ev- 
ery matter and thing contained in the several specifications of 
the same, and demands trial thereon. 

Of course this answer will vary according to the facts of each 
casA One specification may be admitted and another denied. 



The charge and specifications may be admitted, and matters set 
up in extenuation or excuse. Assuming the answer to be a denial 
the issued is formed, and the parties proceed to trial. To procure 
the attendance of witnesses on either side, some process may be 
necessary. If the witness be not a Mason, his attendance must, 
of course, be voluntary ; but a Mason is bound to obey a sum- 
mons. This may be issued by any master of a Lodge (Constitu- 
tion § 56), and in the following form : 

5. — Sammons for 'Witness. 

To Bro. I. J. : You are hereby summoned and required to at- 
tend as a witness before the commissioners appointed for the trial 
of A. B., on certain charges preferred against him, on the 20th 
day of April, instant, at 7 o'clock p. m., at the Lodge room of Tri- 
luminar Lodge, No. 800, in Freetown, and there to testify the 
truth, according to your knowledge. 

K. L., Master. 

Dated, April 16, 1859. 

This may be made to answer for several witnesses, by inserting 
their names and adding the words “and each of you” after the 
word “you.” The brother disobeying such a summons may be 
proceeded against as in case of disobedience to any other sum- 
mons. For this purpose the person serving it should note upon 
it when and how it is served. 

The commissioners, having met for trial, should organize ; that 
is to say, one of their number (and usually the first named) should 
preside, though they may choose another for that purpose ; and 
another of them should be chosen to act as their clerk, and keep 
the minutes of their proceedings. A copy of the resolution under 
which they were appointed, together with their appointment, 
should be furnished them by the Secretary. They should keep 
minutes of their proceedings, which may be in this form : 

G. — Minutes of Commissioners. 

The commissioners appointed for the trial of A. B., on the 
charges a copy of which is hereto annexed (marked A) pursuant to 
the following resolution (copy resolution), assembled at the Lodge 
room of Triluminar Lodge, NTo. 800, on Wednesday evening, the 
20th of April, 1859 : 



Present : K. S., T. U. and V. K, commissioners. B. S. offici- 
ated as chairman, and V. N. was chosen clerk. 

A. B. appeared before them and objected to T. U., one of the 
commissioners, on the ground that he was present at the meeting 
of the Lodge when the charges were preferred, and voted for their 

Bro. T. U. stated that he had formed no opinion on the subject, 
and the other commissioners decided that he was competent to act 
as commissioner, to which Bro. B. took an exception. 

The charges w'ere then read by Bro. S. L., Junior Warden, to- 
gether with the answer of Bro. A. B. 

Bro. B. requested that P. S. , Esq. , an attorney and not a Ma- 
son, should examine the witnesses on his behalf and assist him in 
his defense. The commissioners decided against the request, but 
further decided that he might employ the services of any brother 
to assist him in defense ; to which Bro. B. took an exception. He 
then employed Bro. N. O. to assist him as counsel. Bro. O. ob- 
jected to the form of the charges as being vague and uncertain, 
but the commissioners decided them to be sufficient ; to which 
Bro. 0. took an exception. 

Bro. E. F. was then introduced as a witness by the Junior War- 
den, and testified as a Master Mason as follows : I am acquainted 
with Bro. A. B. ; I saw him on Main street, in Freetown, on the 
first day of April last ; I was on the opposite side of the street ; he 
appeared to be much intoxicated (objection was made to the ap- 
pearance of accused, but it was overruled and an exception taken) • 
he was there for about half an hour ; he reeled as he walked, &c. 

On cross-examination Bro. E. F. further testified : I know that 
Bro. B. had been sick, &c. 

The commissioners then adjourned to meet at the same place 
on Thursday evening, the 21st April 1859, at 7 o’clock r. m. 

Thursday evening , April 21, 1859. 

The commissioners met pursuant to adjournment : present all 
the commissioners and also Bro. L. the Junior Warden and Bro. 
A. B. and his counsel Bro. O. 

Bro. U.. officiated as chairman. 

Mr. H. C. was then introduced as a witness by the Junior War- 
den, and stated as follows : 

I was in Freetown on the first day of April instant, &c 



The proofs on tho part of the complainant here rested. 

Bro. O., on behalf of Bro. A. B., then produced the sworn affi- 
davit of Mr. J. B., to which the Junior Warden objected, on tho 
ground that Mr. B. should be produced for cross-examination. 

The commissioners sustained the objection on that ground, and 
Bro. O. took an exception. 

Mr. B. was then produced, and the Junior Warden then con. 
sented that his affidavit might be read, which was read according- 
ly, and is hereto annexted (marked B). 

The Junior Warden then cross-examined Mr. B., who stated as 
follows, Ac. 

The proofs being closed, after hearing both parties, the commis- 
sioners decided to meet again on the 23d day of April instant, to 
determine on their report 

Saturday, April 23, 1859. 

The commissioners again met by themselves, and after consulta- 
tion decided upon their report, a copy of which is hereto annexed 
(marked C), and notified the parties thereof. 

Signed by the Commissioners. 

These minutes have been given in this extended form because 
they present a convenient way of stating certain facts and proceed- 
ings on trial. Thus, the statement of formal objections and the 
grounds of them, together with the decision thereon of the com- 
missioners (which should always be stated), are here set forth ; 
also, that the Junior Warden acted as prosecutor ; that the em- 
ployment of an attorney not being a Mason was not permitted, but 
that the accused was permitted to have counsel ; that the first wit- 
ness testified in his character as a Master Mason, and that the 
second witness, not being a Mason, made his statement merely, no 
oath being administered to either ; that the testimony is taken 
down in the words of the witness, and of course in the first per- 
son as he spoke ; that the precise point objected to is stated ; 
that the t im e and place of each adjournment are noted ; that a 
sworn affidavit was not admitted because no opportunity was given 
for cross-examination ; and, finally, that the commissioners met 
alone and decided upon their report, and then gave notice to the 
parties ; all of which may furnish useful hints to those engaged 
in such trials, without further comment ; it being presumed that 



the usual forms of such proceedings and the ordinary rules of evi- 
dence are understood and will be observed. It is at the option of 
the commissioners whether they will admit any one to be present 
but the parties and the witnesses testifying, but on all such oc- 
casions none but Masons should be admitted, except the witness 
not a Mason, and while testifying. 

As the form of the notice given to the parties by the commis- 
sioners (Constitution, § 57) may be desired, it is here given, and 
may be as follows. 

7 . — Xotice of Decision. 

To Bro. S., Junior Warden, and Bro. A. B. . 

You will each take notice that we have agreed upon and signed 
our report in the matter of charges against Bro. A. B., referred to 
us, by which we have found the charges sustained, and Brother B. 
guilty thereof, and that the expenses of the proceedings be paid 
by him ; and that we shall present the report to Triluminar Lodge 
at its stated communication, on the 30th April instant. 

(Signed by the Commissioners. ) 

Dated April 23d, 1859. 

The trial being concluded and the report thus agreed upon, the 
commissioners will have it drawn up in form for the action of the 
Lodge. This report need not, in the first place, contain anything 
but the facts found and the conclusions arrived at thereon by the 
commissioners. These conclusions, like those of any other com- 
mittee, should be in the form of resolutions, for the definite action 
of the Lodge. Should the Lodge, on the report coming in, desire 
to hear the testimony read or any of the decisions stated, it will be 
the duty of the commissioners to comply. 

The report may be in the following form : 

8. — Deport of Commissioners. 

To the W. Master, Wardens and Brethren of Triluminar Lodge, 
No. 800. 

The commissioners appointed for the trial of Bro. A. B., on 
charges of intoxication heretofore preferred in this Lodge, respect- 
fully report : 

That they met at the Lodge room of this Lodge on Wednesday 
evening, the 20th of April last past, and proceeded to hear and try 
the matters referred to them. 



ITiat objections were presented to Bro. U., one of their number, 
which they overruled, and also refused to permit Bro. B. to ap- 
pear by counsel, not being a Mason, and thereupon Bro. N. O. 
appeared for him. That objections were made to the charges, 
which were overruled. 

That they proceeded to take testimony (in the course of which 
they decided not to admit a sworn affidavit), and Bro E. F. and 
Mr. H. C. and Mr. J. B. were examined as witnesses. 

That they held three meetings, the last of w’hich was for the 
purpose of agreeing upon and preparing their report 

That from the testimony before them they find the following 
facts : 

1. That Bro. A. B. was intoxicated with strong and spirituous 
liquors, in a public place, at Freetown, on the first day of April, 

2. That Bro. A. B. has been at least twice intoxicated in a pub- 
lic place, in Freetowm aforesaid, within two weeks previous to the 
said first day of April, 1859. 

They therefore recommend the adoption of the following resolu- 
tions : 

Resolved, That the charges of intoxication against Bro. A. B. , 
made and presented to this Lodge on the 9th day of April, 1859, 
are sustained, and that he is guilty of the said charges. 

Resolved, That Bro. A. B. be and he is hereby suspended from 
this Lodge, and from the rights and privileges of Masonry, for the 
space of three months from this date. 

The charges and expenses of the commissioners amount to the 
sum of three dollars, which they adjudge that Bro. A. B. should 
pay, of all which they have notified the Junior Warden and Bro. 
A. B. All of which is respectfully submitted, 

R. S. 1 

T. U. >• Commissioners. 

Dated, April 23, 1859. V. W. ) 

If the resolutions be adopted, the Secretary of the Lodge should 
transcribe them on his minutes, together with the adjudication as 
to charges and expenses. The resolutions, however, are subject to 
the action of the Lodge, who may reverse the decision of the com- 
missioners, or, if sustained, may amend the resolution as to the 
penalty by increasing or diminishing it ; the decision of the com- 



missioners, however, as to expenses is final (Cons. § 61.) Should 
the resolutions be adopted (and for this purpose a majority vote is 
sufficient, unless the by-laws provide differently, ) and the accused 
be absent from the Lodge, it is the duty of the Secretary to furnish 
him immediately with a copy of the resolutions and of the award 
as to expenses, with a notice, which may be in this form : 

9. — Notice of Judgment. 

To Bro. A. B. : 

Take notice, that the foregoing is a copy of resolutions 
adopted by Triluminar Lodge, No. 800, at their communication 
held at their Lodge room in Freetown, on the 30th day of April 
instant, together with a copy of the award made by the commis- 
sioners as to expenses. 

P. 0. Secretary. 

Dated, April 30th, 1859. 

Thus have been presented the ordinary proceedings from com- 
plaint to judgment on a Masonic trial on charges preferred in a 
Lodge. Some of them may be found practically unnecessary, but 
the complaint, minutes and report are deemed important, and 
should be substantially followed in every case. Other proceedings, 
under the title of the Constitution, entitled “Of Trial and Its In- 
cidents,” may be adapted to them, varying the allegations to suit 
the case, and bearing in mind that in all the cases mentioned in 
section 54 the decision of the commissioners is final, unless an ap- 
peal be taken from it. (§ 58. ) In these cases the report will be 
made to the Grand Lodge, and the minutes, with the report an- 
nexed, filed in the office of the Grand Secretary, and notice given 
to the parties by the commissioners. Their report, in such cases, 
need not conclude with resolutions, but with an award of judg- 
ment in the nature of both a verdict and sentence. It may be in 
this form, in place of the recommendation of resolutions : 

10. — Report of Commissioners (another form). 

The said commissioners do therefore adjudge and determine as 
follows : 

1. That the charges of intoxication against Bro. A. B., of Trilu- 
minar Lodge, No. 800, preferred by Bro. C. D., of Anchor Lodge, 
No. 801, on the 9th day of April, 1859, are sustained, and that he 
is guilty of the said charges. 



2. That the said Bro. A. B. be and he is hereby suspended from 
said Trilnrainar Lodge, and from the rights and privileges of Ma- 
sonry, for the space of three months from this date. 

3. That the said A. B. be adjudged to pay the charges and ex- 
penses of the proceedings on this trial 

The charges and expenses, Ac., (as in the preceding report, ex- 
cept as to parties notified, and add) and our report has been duly 
filed with the R. W. Grand Secretary (dated and signed by the 

The following may be the form of their notice : 

11.— Notice of Judgment by Commissioners. 

To and : 

Take notice that we have this day made and signed our 
report to the Grand Lodge, by which we have adjudged and deter- 
mined that Bro. A. B. is guilty of the charges preferred against 
him, and that he is suspended from Triluminar Lodge, No. 800, 
and from the rights and privileges of Masonry, for the space of 
three months, and that he do pay the costs and expenses of the 
proceedings before us, amounting to the sum of three dollars. 

Signed by the Commissioners. 

Dated, April 23, 1859. 

The subject of Appeals next claims our attention, and we shall 
still follow the form of proceedings after trial on charges preferred 
in a Lodge against a member. 

The time limited in every case for bringing an appeal is six 
months (§ 58) ; but where a party is intending to appeal it is ad- 
visable that he give notice of it immediately, which may be in the 
following form : 

12. — Notice of Appeal. 

To P. Q., Secretary of Triluminar Lodge, No. 800 : 

Take notice, that I shall bring an appeal from the action 
of said Lodge on the 30th day of April, 1859, in passing sentence 
of suspension on me for three months, to the M. W. Grand Lodge 
of the State of New York (or the M. W. Grand Master, R. W. Dep- 
uty Grand Master, or E. W. District Deputy Grand Master of this 
district, as he may choose,) on the grounds to be stated in my ap- 

Dated, May 4, 1859. 

A. B. 



On receiving this notice, the Secretary of the Lodge — or, in all 
cases not under section 60, the commissioners — will transmit to 
the Grand Lodge, or Grand officer, as the case may be, a copy of 
the minutes of proceedings embracing the evidence, with a copy of 
the report, to the Lodge — marked C and numbered 8 — annexed, 
all duly ^attested and certified ; and by carefully observing these 
directions it may always be done promptly. This, if filed with the 
Grand Secretary, may be furnished to the Grand Lodge, or its 
Committee on Appeals, or to the Grand officer appealed to, when 
desired. When the appeal is to a Grand officer, the report may be 
transmitted to him directly, to be by him afterwards filed with the 
Grand Secretary. The appellant should next prepare his appeal, 
which may be in this form : 

13. — Appeal. 

To the M. W. Grand Lodge of the State of New York (or M. W. 

Grand Master) : 

The undersigned hereby appeals to you from the decision 
of Triluminar Lodge, No. 800, made April 30, 1859, in passing 
sentence of suspension on him for three months, and he specifies 
the following as the ground of his appeal : 

1. That F. U. , one of the commissioners on his trial, was incom- 
petent to act, having been present at the meeting of said Lodge 
when the charges were preferred, and voted for their reference. 

2. That the commissioners erred in deciding that P. S., Esq., 
should not be allowed to assist the undersigned in his defense. 

3. That the second specification of the charges is vague and un- 

4. That the commissioners erred in receiving testimony as to ap- 
pearances of intoxication. 

5. That they erred in rejecting the sworn affidavit of J. R. 

6. That the proofs in the case were not sufficient to warrant the 
finding of the commissioners. 

7. That the Lodge erred in passing the resolution of suspension 
by a majority vote. 

All of which appears by the papers, proceedings and evidence in 
the case. 

Dated, May 11, 1859. A. B. 

A copy of this appeal should be served on the Secretary of the 



Lodge ; and it is best, also, to serve a copy on the appellate tribu- 
nal or officer. Within ten days (this is suggested as an admirable 
time, there being no regulation on the subject,) an answer should 
be made to the appeal by the Lodge. As in most cases this is 
merely taking issue, the form of an answer on appeal may be un- 
necessary ; yet one is subjoined, as follows : 

14. — Answer to Appeal. 

Triluminar Lodge, No. 800, answers the appeal of A. B. and 
says : 

That the said Lodge denies that there is any error in the pro- 
ceedings of said Lodge, or of the commissioners appointed for the 
trial of the said A. B., and further says that the decision of said 
Lodge in said case is sustained both by the law and evidence 
therein applicable thereto. 

Dated, May 21, 1859. S. L., Junior Warden. 

This is very general, and if a specific denial is deemed necessary 
— taking issue upon each of the grounds of appeal and assigning 
reasons therefor — it may be made after the foregoing form in com- 
mencement, and adding thereto as follows : 

Because the said Lodge says as to the first ground of appeal, &c. 

And because the said Lodge says as to the second ground of ap- 
peal, &c. 

The case being thus fairly brought up on appeal, the Grand 
Lodge or Grand officer may hear the same, either by oral argu- 
ment, or the appeal and answer thereto may be made sufficiently 
full to call attention to all the points in the case and the reasons 
therefor. If the Secretary of the Lodge shall have omitted a tran- 
script of the proceedings of the Lodge, and the same be required 
to make the case perfectly understood, the Grand Master, Deputy 
Grand Master, or District Deputy Grand Master may make an or- 
der in this form : 

15 . — Order on Appeal. 

Office of the Grand Master of Masons, j 
May 28, 18 . . j 

To the W. Master, Warden and Brethren of Triluminar Lodge, 
No. 800: 

Bro. A. B. having duly appealed from the decision of your 
Lodge made on the 30th April, 1859, suspending him for three 



months, yon are hereby required to transmit, by the hand of your 
Secretary and seal of your Lodge, a transcript of all the proceed- 
ings of your Lodge, in the case of the said A. B. , from the time of 
the presentation of the charges against him until the final action of 
your Lodge thereon, with the several dates thereof, together with 
all papers and documents relating thereto not heretofore returned, 
within days from the receipt of this order by you. 

Given under my hand and private seal on the day 
and year first above written. 

Grand Master. 

After argument the appellate tribunal will, with all convenient 
dispatch, pronounce the decision. If made by a Grand officer, it 
should be filed, together with the appeal papers, in the office of the 
Grand Secretary, and may be in this form : 

16. — Decision on Appeal. 

Office op the Grand Master of Masons, &c., June 4, 1859. 

In the Matter op the Appeal j 
op j. 

Brother A. B. 

Brother A. B. having appealed from the decision of Triluminar 
Lodge, No. 800, made on the 30th day of April, 1859, by which he 
was suspended from the rights and privileges of Masonry for three 
months, on charges of intoxication ; and having heard the case, I 
have carefully considered the facts appearing on said appeal, and 
the grounds of error alleged by him. There does not seem to be 
any error or irregularity in the proceedings, or in the several de- 
cisions of the commissioners on the trial, and the facts of the case 
warrant the conclusions of the commissioners and the decision of 
the Lodge. 

[If the officers desire to review the facts or comment upon any 
of the points taken, he may here insert his remarks and reasons. ] 

My judgment and decision, therefore, is, that the proceedings 
and decisions of Triluminar Lodge, No. 800, in the case of Bro. A. 
B., be and the same are hereby affirmed. 

Grand Master. 

If the decision be reversed, the appellate officer will vary the 
second paragraph and give his reasons for dissenting from the con- 



elusions of the commissioners and Lodge, and use the word “ re- 
versed” in the last paragraph, instead of “affirmed.” Should he 
desire to make any special order in the case, it may be added at 
the end. 

When an appeal is taken from the decision of a Grand officer, on 
appeal to the Grand Lodge the case will be heard on the papers 
which were before him, and it will only need the following and 
final form of an appeal to bring up the matter, which should be 
served on the Lodge through its proper officer, a reasonable time 
(say twenty days) before the annual communication of the Grand 
Lodge, and a copy transmitted to the Grand Secretary forthwith. 

17. — Final Appeal to Grand Lodge. 

To the M. W. Grand Master (or R. W. Deputy Grand Master) and 
the W. Master Wardens and Brethren of Triluminar Lodge, 
No. 800 : 

The undersigned, A. B. , hereby appeals to the M. W. Grand 
Lodge of the State of New York, from the decision of the M. W. 
Grand Master, made in and by his order of June 4th, 1859, in the 
case of this appellant, affirming the decision of said Lodge on the 
30th April, 1859, in the same case, on the grounds particularly 
stated and set forth in his appeal to the M. W. Grand Master, dated 
May 11, 1859, and respectfully prays your consideration thereof 
and judgment thereon. 

Dated, June 6, 1859. A. B. 

In the nature of the case, no answer to this appeal is required ; . 
and when the appeal comes before the Grand Lodge it will take 
the direction prescribed by its rules and usages. 

From the foregoing general forms and directions, sufficient may 
be gathered to apply to every case of Masonic discipline and trial, 
between any parties and whatever may be the decision. To have 
extended the forms, or adapted those given to every varying 
change, would be great labor without adequate benefit, and es- 
pecially in the great variety of charges. It should be remarked 
that, when the charges are based upon a section of the constitu- 
tion, or of the Lodge by-laws, it should be plainly and distinctly 
referred to. 

Should the accused admit the charges when served upon him, 
proof of such admission or confession will be all that the commis- 



sioners are required to have made, and they will make up their 
minutes and report accordingly, adapting the foregoing forms. 

If the accused fails to appear and answer the charges after per- 
sonal service, the commissioners may proceed, after taking proof 
of such service, to take proof of the charges, and in such case the 
Master should appoint some brother to appear for him. The min- 
utes and report in such cases should be full, and the forms given 
can readily be modified to suit such a state of facts. 


[Intended to serve as a gnide in the formation of by-laws for Subordinate 
Lodges, and subject to such alterations, not inconsistent with the Constitution, 
as the convenience of the Lodges may dictate.] 


§ 1. The stated meetings of this Lodge shall be on the . . and . . 
days in every month. The hour of meeting, from April 1 to Octo- 
ber 1, shall be. 8 o’clock, and 7 h o’clock the remainder of the year. 

§ 2. Special meetings may be called by the Master, upon any 
emergency which he, in his judgment, may deem necessary ; but 
no business shall be transacted by such special meeting but that 
for which it was called. 


§ 3. r Jlie members of this Lodge are all who have been or may 
be initiated in or affiliated therewith, who have subscribed their 
names to these by-laws, and who have not withdrawn or been ex- 
cluded for unmasonic conduct or non-payment of dues. (See sec- 
tions 24 to 27, and sections 85 and 88, Constitution. ) 



§ 4. The officers of this Lodge shall be ranked and entitled as 
follows : 

1. The Master. 

2. The Senior Warden. 

3. The Junior Warden. 



4. The Treasurer. 

6. The Secretary. 

6. The Senior Deacon. 

7. The Junior Deacon. 

8. The Stewards, or Masters of Ceremonies. 

9. The Tyler. 

the officers shall be elected at the stated communication 
next preceding the festival of St. John the Evangelist, and be in- 
stalled on or before the next stated meeting thereafter. 

§ 6. Any member months in arrears for dues, shall not be 

entitled to vote at said election. 

§ 7. The duties of the officers of this Lodge, in addition to those 
not proper to be written, are as follows : 

the master. 

To preserve the "Warrant of the Lodge with unfailing care, and 
deliver it to his successor in office ; to see that these by-laws, the 
Constitution of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, and the 
Ancient Constitutions of Freemasonry, be duly understood, re- 
spected, and obeyed by the members ; to represent the Lodge, in 
conjunction with the Senior and Junior Wardens, at all the Grand 
communications of the M. W. Grand Lodge ; to draw all orders on 
the Treasurer, with the consent and approbation of the Lodge ; to 
see that all cases of offense against the laws of the Order be fairly 
dealt with, according to these by-laws, and the constitutions and 
rules of Masonry ; to report to the Lodge his proceedings in the 
Grand Lodge, and to cause the printed transactions to be read for 
the information of the brethren. 


In addition to those duties which appertain to every individual 
Mason, the duties of the Senior Warden are : to succeed to and 
exercise all the powers of the Master in the event of his absence ; 
to represent the Lodge, in conjunction with the Master and Junior 
Warden, in the Grand Lodge ; to aid the Master in governing the 
Craft during the hours of labor. 

the junior warden. 

It is the duty of the Junior Warden to exercise all the powers of 
he Master, in the absence of the two officers above him ; to repre- 



tent the Lodge, in conjunction with the Master and Senior Warden, 
in the Grand Lodge ; to take charge of the Craft during the hours 
of refreshment. 


Is to receive all moneys from the hands of the Secretary ; pay 
out the same by order of the Master and consent of the Lodge ; to 
submit his accounts, when required by the Master or Lodge, for 
examination ; to deliver to his successor in office all the moneys, 
books, vouchers, and other properties of the Lodge he may have 
in his possession. 


The duty of this officer is to record the proceedings of the 
Lodge ; to receive all moneys due the Lodge and pay the same to 
the Treasurer ; to prepare the usual Keturns to the Grand Lodge, 
in proper time and in accordance with the Constitution, and for- 
ward the same to the Grand Secretary ; to deliver up to his suc- 
cessor in office all the books, seal, and other property of the 


Is to take part in the active duties of the Lodge ; to be courteous 
to and provide accommodations for visiting brethren, and act as 
the proxy of the Master. 


Has especial charge of the door, acts as the proxy of the Senior 
Warden, and attends to such other duties as are pointed out to him 
by the Master or Senior Warden, in accordance with the usages of 
Masonry and the by-laws of his Lodge. 


Are to assist in the preparation of candidates, and to assist the 
Senior Deacon in the discharge of his duties. 


The duties of the Tyler are : to tile the Lodge under the direct 
orders of the Master ; to serve notices, summons, etc., issued un- 
der the authority of the Master and the Lodge ; and for the faith- 
ful performance of these duties he shall receive dollars per 

year for his services. 



otheb omcm 

The Lodge may, in its discretion, appoint a Chaplain, a Marshal, 
and an Organist, whose duties shall correspond with their titles. 



§ 8. There shall be chosen by ballot, at the annual election, 
three Trustees, who shall hold in trust for the Lodge all stocks, 
securities, investments, and funds in deposit or interest, and shall 
have power to transfer, exchange, or deposit the same, or any part 
thereof, whenever required by a vote of the Lodge ; deposits to be 
made in such institution as may be directed by the Lodge, and no 
amount shall be drawn from such deposit without the order of the 

§ 9. In case of a vacancy in the office of Trustee, the Lodge may 
at any time proceed to fill the same, after two weeks’ notice. 



§ 10. Any person desirous of being initiated in this Lodge must 
be proposed in writing by a member thereof, at a stated communi- 
cation. The member making the proposition shall state therein 
the age, birthplace, profession, and residence of the person pro- 
posed. If the Lodge consents to receive the proposition, it shall 
be referred to a special committee of three, whose duty it shall be 
to make a thorough investigation into the physical, mental, and 
moral qualification of said candidate, and make their report thereof 
at the next stated meeting thereafter, unless further time be grant- 
ed. On the report of said committee being made, the Lodge shall 
proceed to ballot for the candidate, and, if no black ball appear 
against him, he shall be declared elected ; but should one black 
ball appear against him, he shall be rejected. 

§ 11. No person can receive any degree in this Lodge, or become 
a member thereof, who is not of mature age, sound in mind, per- 
fect in body and limbs, possessing a good character, a trade or 
profession, or some visible way of acquiring an honest and respect- 
able livelihood, and publicly acknowledging a belief in the exist- 
ence of a Supreme Being. 



§ 12. Any Mason desirous of becoming a member of this Lodge 
by affiliation, must produce a certificate of haring paid his dues in 
his former Lodge, and of his having left the same in good stand- 
ing, subject to the conditions set forth in section 10. 



§ 13. The initiation fee shall be dollars (not less than fif- 

teen.) The affiliation fee .... dollars. 

§ 14. The annual dues shall be dollars, payable quarterly. 

§ 15. Any member of the Lodge neglecting or refusing to pay 
his dues for one year, may be stricken from the roll thereof by a 
vote of the Lodge, at a stated meeting. 

§ 16. No person withdrawing from this Lodge can again become 
a member without being proposed and balloted for anew, subject 
to the provisions of sections 10 and 13. 

§ 17. No member whose name has been stricken from the roll 
can again become a member of this Lodge without paying up his 
indebtedness and being proposed and balloted for as in the case of 
adjoining members. 

§ 18. No brother of this Lodge shall be suspended or expelled 
from membership unless charges be preferred duly specifying his 
offense, presented by a brother in good standing, and the accused 
being allowed full opportunity to make his defense. 

§ 19. Any brother desirous of withdrawing from this Lodge must 
pay his indebtedness, and obtain its consent thereto. 



§ 20. The Master, on the night of his installation, shall appoint 
a committee of three members to be called the Standing Commit- 
tee, whose duty it shall be to examine the books, vouchers, etc. , 
of the Treasurer and Secretary, from time to time, and to make a 
detailed report in writing, whenever required. Likewise, to ex- 
amine and audit all bills, accounts, and claims that may be pre- 
sented to the Lodge for payment, and report upon the same in 
writing. Nor shall any account be allowed by the Lodge until it 



shall have been examined and reported upon by the Standing Com- 

§ 21. When in session, the Lodge may refer applications for 
charity to a Special Committee ; but during the interval the Mas- 
ter and Wardens shall be a Committee of Charity, and shall have 
power at any time to draw upon the Treasurer, through the Mas- 
ter, for a sum not exceeding five dollars at one time, to bestow 
upon a distressed worthy Master Mason, his wife, widow, or orphan 

§ 22. Special Committees may be appointed upon any item of 
business, and may consist of as may members as the Lodge, in its 
discretion, may think proper. All committees shall report at the 
next stated meeting subsequent to their appointment, and in write 
ing, unless otherwise ordered by the Lodge. All committees shall 
be appointed by the Master. Members who are appointed to serve 
upon committees shall feel bound in honor to give patient and dil- 
igent attention to the business of their appointment, and report 
their conclusions to the Lodge without fear or favor. 



§ 23. An offense in Masonry is defined to be an act which con- 
travenes these by-laws, any constitutional rule or edict of the 
Grand Lodge, any requisition of the unwritten law of Masonry, any 
law of the land, or any law of God. 

§ 24. When an offense shall be committed by a member or 
members of this Lodge against the laws of Freemasonry, and 
charges are preferred thereon, it shall be the duty of the Master to 
appoint not less than three, nor more than seven, disinterested 
members of the Lodge, commissioners, who shall appoint a time 
and place for the trial, most convenient for those interested, and 
summon the parties and their witnesses. After due investigation 
of all the facts of the case, the commissioners shall found their 
judgment thereon, and give notice to the parties interested. A 
majority must concur in such judgment, and their judgment, it 
approved by the Lodge, shall be final, unless an appeal be taken 
therefrom to the Grand Lodge within six months, in which case it 



shall be the duty of the commissions, upon receiving notice of such 
appeal, to transmit their report to the Grand Secretary. 


§ 25. Any portion or the whole of these by-laws may be amend- 
ed, or others substituted in their stead, at the will of the Lodge, 
provided the general principles of Freemasonry and the constitu- 
tional rules and edicts of the Grand Lodge are carefully main- 
tained. But all amendments, substitutions, etc., must be proposed 
in writing, read before the Lodge, and laid over for two weeks be- 
fore a vote of the Lodge is taken, and a vote of two-thirds of the 
members present shall be necessary to the adoption of such propo- 

Any action or edict of the Grand Lodge altering these by-laws, 
has the effect of an amendment, without any action on the part of 
the Lodge. 


The Proxy of the Subordinate Lodges should be in the following 
form, viz : 

At a meeting of Lodge, No held at in the 

county of in the State of on the . . . day of . . . 

A. L. 58.. 

Besolved, That our Worshipful Brother , Past Master (or 

Master, as the case may be, ) of Lodge, No. . . . , be and ho 

is hereby appointed Proxy, to represent this Lodge in the Grand 

Lodge of the State of , and he is fully empowered to act 

in our behalf, in all the transactions of the Grand Lodge, as effect- 
lally as if we ourselves were personally present. 

All which we have caused to be certified by our Master and War- 
dens, and the seal of our Lodge to be affixed. 

[ii. s. ] Master. 

Senior Warden. 

Junior Warden. 





The certificate of the election of officers in a Subordinate Lodge 
should be in the following form, and said officers cannot be recog- 
nized as members of the Grand Lodge until a proper certificate of 
election is filed in the Grand Secretary’s office : 

Be it known, that on the day of A. L. 58. at a 

regular meeting of .... Lodge, No. . . held in the county 

of in the State of , our worthy Brother w # as 

elected Master ; our worthy Brother Senior Warden, and 

our worthy Brother Junior Warden of the said Lodge, for 

the ensuing year, and that said Master and Wardens have been 
duly installed. 

In testimony whereof we, the members of the said Lodge, have 
caused the seal thereof to be hereunto affixed, and our Secretary 
to sign the same. 

[l. s.] Secretary. 

4 ^ 



Advancement 172 

Proficiency required . . . 172 

Ballot for 172 

Result of rejection 172 

Action of Masons — how con- 
trolled 11 

Ancient Landmarks defined 12 

Affiliation 176 

Age, lawful 47 

Ancient Charges — 

Concerning God and 

Religion 21 

Of the Civil Magistrates 22 

Of Lodges 23 

Of Master, "Wardens, 

and Fellows 23 

Of the Craft in working 24 

Of Behavior 26 

Appointed Officers of Lodge 136 

Appeal 188 

Bight of 188 

From Master . . .14, 81, 193 

From Lodge 193 

How taken 188 

Effect of 190 

Forms for 291 

Apprentices, Entered 170 

Apprentices may be tried . . 173 
Bight of to Appeal ... 174 

Articles XXXIX 30 

Avouchment 182 

Atheists, cannot Testify 220 

Ballot, the 55 

Must be unanimous ... 55 

Not to be taken till one 
month after petition 56 
Indispensible in all cases 56 

All present must 57 

Must be secret 15, 58 

Cannot be postponed. . 58 
Unfavorable cannot be 

reconsidered 58 

For affiliation 59 

For each degree 59 

Exposure of, a cause for 

discipline 58 

Blank 140 

Belief in God a landmark . . 13 

Black-ball 61 

Cast in error 54 

By-laws 79 

Form of 305 

Burial, Masonic 203 



Candidates — 

Laws relating to 47 

Qualifications of 47 

Must be residents 48 

Must present a petition 50 
Must answer all ques- 
tions . 62 

If rejected, must obtain 
consent of rejecting 
Lodge before peti- 

tioning another 52 

Rejection of, cannot be 

inquired into 63 

May be disciplined, af- 
ter initiation, for de- 
ceiving committee ... 55 

Deformity of 47 

Initiation of 170 

Advancement of 172 

Called meetings 151 

Certificates 182 

Form of 289 

Charges, how presented 216 

Form of 291 

Charter— see Warrant 

Civil law, to be obeyed 14 

Offences against 213 

Committees 157 

How appointed 157 

On character 52 

On business 103, 157 

Constitutions, defined 11 

Constitutional powers of 

Lodges 78 

Counsel in trials 219 

Consecration of a Lodge ... 72 

Constitution of a Lodge 73 

Deacons, of a Lodge 128 

Grand 277 

Dedication of a Lodge 73 

Degrees at sight 258 

Deputy Grand Master 269 

Dimission 198 

Dimit, form of 290 

Discussion, how controlled 102 
Dispensations — 

Who grants 67, 258 

Expiration of . . . . ^ . 67 

For degrees 259 

District Deputy Grand Mas- 
ters 282 

Diploma, form of 290 

Dues 140 

Striking from roll for. . 238 

Duties of the Master 89, 110 

Of the Wardens. . . .116, 122 

Of the Secretary 125 

Of the Treasurer 123 

Of the Deacons 128 

Of the Stewards 131 

Of Mas. of Ceremonies 131 
Of other officers 136 

Elections 138 

Who may vote 140 

When held 146 

Majority required 143 

Entered Apprentices 170 


Eligibility for office 92 

Evidence, rules of 221 

Exclusion 100, 226 

Expulsion 231 

Vote required for 232 

Notice of 232 

Expelled Masons cannot tes- 
tify 220 

Examination of visitors 184 

Fellow Craets 174 

Freeborn, candidates must 

be 14 

Fines 225 

Felony, bow dealt with 213 

Forms, various 287 

Funds of a Lodge 82 

General Regulations, 1721 30 

Grand Lodge, the 239 

Formation of 240 

Legislative powers of. . 243 

Judicial powers of 246 

Executive powers of. . . 247 

Jurisdiction of 248 

Grand officers 251 

Grand Master 253 

May be disciplined 255 

May convene tbe G. L. 256 
Presides in Grand L . . 268 

Issues summons 258 

Grants dispensations . . 258 
Constitutes new Lodges 259 
Arrests Lodge charters 260 
Makes Masons at sight 261 


Heals irregular Masons 263 
Appoints subordinates. 264 

Is elected annually 267 

Grand Vvardens 271 

Treasurer 272 

Secretary 272 

Chaplains 274 

Marshal 275 

Standard Bearer 275 

Sword Bearer 276 

Stewards 276 

Deacons 277 

Poursuivant 277 

Tyler 277 

Lecturer 278 

Honorary Membership 279 

Healing 263 

Installation 146 

To follow each election 148 

By proxy 148 

Who may conduct 148 

In Lodges U. D 67 

Of a Lodge 73 

Instruction of Representa- 
tives 77 

Inherent powers of a Lodge 77 

Jurisdiction — 

Grand Lodges 248 

Lodges 83 

Territorial 83 

Penal 84 

Over sojourners 85 



Jurisdiction over non-affilia- 

ted Masons 85 

Over candidates 83 

Over unfinished work. . 83 

Junior Deacon 129 

Junior Warden 116 

Law, Masonic, defined 9 

Foundations of 10 

Authorities for 19 

Landmarks 13 

Discussed 15 

Bemoval of, void 16 

Laws relating to candidates 47 

Must be freeborn 47 

Of lawful age 47 

Of good report 47 

Declare his belief in a 

Supreme Being 48 

Beside where initiated . 48 

Be self-denying 49 

Have some degree of ed- 
ucation 50 

Present a petition 51 

Law, Parliamentary 151 

Lecturer, Grand 278 

Lodges, inherent powers of 77 
Constitutional powers of 78 

Lodge, the 65 

Defined 65 

Under dispensation 66 

Lodges U. D., powers of. . . 66 

Warranted 70 

Consecration of 72 

Dedication of 73 

Lodges IT. D., Installation. 73 

Powers of 74 

Cannot try the Master. 15 
Precedency and juris- 
diction of 82 

Funds of 82 

Officers of 89 

Jurisdiction of 83 

Masonic Law, defined 9 

Offences against 212 

Masonic Offences 210 

Trials 214 

Punishments 225 

Buies of action 11 

Master Masons, rights of. . . 176 
Amenable to local laws 15 

Master, Grand 253 

Master of a Lodge 89 

His qualifications ... 14, 90 
Has power to — 

Congregate his Lodge 98 

Preside 99 

Fill vacancies 100 

Control admissions . . 100 
Begulate discussion. 102 
Appoint committees. 103 

Close 103 

Issue summons 105 

Control the warrant. 106 
Bepresent his Lodge 107 

Other rights of 108 

Cannot dimit or resign 110 

Marshal 137 

Masters of Ceremonies 131 



Mating Masons at sight 15, 261 
Making Masons, how many 77 

Meetings 150 

Stated 151 

Special 150 

Cannot be adjourned . . 166 

Mendicants 194 

Members, floor 167 

Membership, actual 176 

Honorary 179 

Minutes of a Lodge 126 

Moral law, the rule of Ma- 
sons 13 

Offences against 212 

Modes of recognition, a land- 
mark 14 

Mariners, excepted from law 

of residence 84, 48 

Non-affiliated Masons 203 

Disabilities of 206 

Subject to trial 85 

Their appeal 86 

Notice before initiation 31 

Objection, right of 60 

Officers of a Lodge 87 

Nominations for 144 

Installation of 148 

Who may instal 1148 

Cannot resign 122 

Offences, Masonic 210 

Against moral law 212 

Against Masonic law . . 212 

Offences, Political 213 

, Against civil law 213 

Various 213 

Origin of Grand Lodges . . . 240 

Pboposition of candidates 
not in accordance 
with ancient usage.. 51 
Petition of a candidate, 

form of 51 

Can only be presented 
at a stated meeting. 52 
Cannot be withdrawn. . 52 

Fee to accompany 52 

Must lie over one month 56 

Previously rejected 52 

For membership 59 

Powers of a Lodge U. D. . . 66 

A Warranted Lodge ... 74 

A Master 89, 110 

A Grand Master 256 

Wardens 116, 122 

Grand Wardens 271 

Precedency and jurisdiction 

of Lodges 82 

Penal code of Masonry 208 

Past Master 112 

Privileges of 113 

Parliamentary usages 151 

Punishments, Masonic 225 

Physical qualifications 47 

Proxies to Grand Lodge. . . 114 

Form for 311 

Petitions for New Lodges. . 173 
Political offences 213 



Qualifications of candi- 

dates 47 

Of the Master 14, 90 

lilGHT — 

Of membership 176 

To visit 180 

Of avouchment 182 

Of trial 187 

Of appeal 188 

Of relief 193 

Of withdrawal 198 

Of burial 203 

To constitute a Lodge . 259 

To instal officers 113 

Rejected applicants 52, 172 

For initiation 52 

For advancement 172 

Recognition, modes of, a 

landmark 14 

Regulations of 1721 30 

Records of the Lodge 126 

Reprimand 226 

Representatives in Grand 

Lodge 15 

May be instructed 77 

Reserved rights of Lodges . 245 

Restoration 234 

Vote required for 236 

Rules of action, defined. ... 11 

Ritual, control of . . . 80 

Secretary of a Lodge 125 

Grand 272 

Senior Warden 116 

Senior Deacon 128 

Sight, Masons made at. .15, 261 

Stewards, of a Lodge 131 

Grand 276 

Suitable proficiency 172 

Secrecy of the Ballot 15, 58 

Suspension, definite 230 

Indefinite 231 

Vote required for 232 

Notice of 232 

Of by-laws 80 

Of a warrant 72 

Sword Bearer, Grand 276 

Standard Bearer, Grand . . . 275 

Succession to the chair 111 

Special Meetings 151 

Summons 105 

Style of Grand officers 252 

Sojourners 83 

Surrendering a warrant 72 

Treasurer of a Lodge 123 

Grand 272 

Thirty-nine Articles 30 

Tellers 146 

Trustees 137 

Tyler of a Lodge 134 

Grand 277 

Trials, Masonic 214 

Forms for 291 

Right of 287 

Service of charges 216 

Answer to charges 216 

Counsel 223 

Examining witnesses.. 220 

INDEX. 319 

Trials, Competency of wit- 

nesses 220 

Pules of Evidence . . . 221 

Summing up 224 

Verdict 224 

Final action of Lodge . . 224 
Appeal from 225 

Unfinished work 25 

Visit, right of 14, 180 

Visitors, control of 100 

Avouched for 182 

Objection to 180 

Examination of 184 

Voting, right of 140 

Limitation of 140 

Wakeant, imftutable 70 

How forfeited 71 

How surrendered 72 

May be suspended 72 

Form of 288 

Custody of 10G 

Wardens 116 

Prerogatives of 119 

Succession of 121 

Cannot resign 122 

Grand 271 

Withdrawal, right of 198 

Of petitions 52 

Witnesses, who may be ... . 220 

W eekly meetings 151 

Work 80, 278